top of page

Iskender Ozan Toprak was born in Incirliova, Aydin, Turkey in 1977. He was interested in music at the age of 5 and began learning how to play Anatolia's widely known and traditional instrument 'baglama' with the support of his father Cemal Toprak.


He commenced his music education at Bolu, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Music Education Department where he played the violin and the piano, and then completed his studies at Ege University State Turkish Music Conservatory. From the second year of his studies, he started working for Turkish Radio and Television Cooperation (TRT) as baglama player and participated at many radio programs. Additionaly  he was a choirmaster for the Ege University Faculty of Medicine Choir and City Town of Salihli Choir. Iskender Ozan is a master of the traditional instruments baglama, yayli tambur, mizrapli tambur, kabak kemane, balaban, kaval and zurna.


In 2002, after he accomplished his studies he moved to Germany to undertake studies in musicology.

During the 8 years he spent in Germany, Toprak worked as a composer, instrumentalist and actor for children's theatre 'Theather Mummpitz'. He also toured with the band Quantensprung, and made a documentary about the 50th Anniversary of a Protestant family education centre Familienbildungstaette in Nurnberg.


Eventually Iskender Ozan Toprak relocated to vibrant and multicultural London in 2010. He played for the Royal Academy Orchestra, at the Thames Festival and participated at many concerts and local theatres in London.


Iskender Ozan Toprak, who has been living in Melbourne since 2016, has teamed up with Ben Opie (who is one of Australia's best oboe virtuosos), Laila Engle (flute), Natasha Conrau (violin), Willow Stahlut (violin), Phoebe Green (viola), Stephanie Arnold (cello), Miranda Hill (double bass), Alisha Brooks (saxophone) and Murat Yücel (rhythm) and they set up the "Ocean Project". The first concert of the Ocean Project was held at Penola College on April 8, 2017 in Melbourne and it was highly acclaimed by the audience. In March 2017, he accompanied world famous musician Mercan Dede's Australia tour.


On April 24, 2017, Toprak became the first Turkish musician who has performed a concert at the Melbourne Recital Center, one of Australia's best halls. In an interview about the Recital Center concert, the following was written for him:


“Iskender Ozan Toprak brings a unique blend of music in what can best be described as East meets West, in a beautiful combination of classical music with traditional Eastern music.”


Iskender Ozan conducted the concert "Euphony – Ahenk" on October 27, 2018 on the stage of the renowned Elizabeth Murdoch Hall at the Melbourne Recital Centre as a composer. This concert was sponsored by the Turks Abroad and Related Communities Presidency (YTB), Turkish Airlines, Commonwealth Bank and supported by Mt Hira College to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Turkish Immigration to Australia.

In March 2019 Toprak, conducted the 'Endless Requiem Canakkale' concert which was held under the patronage of the Presidency of Turkey for the 104th Anniversary of the 18 March Canakkale. The general art director was Prof. Erol Parlak and the narrator scriptwriter was Prof. Iskender Pala. The concert was accompanied by 35 musicians and 7 soloists who were Erol Parlak, Elif Buse Dogan, Fındık Buse Katmis, Nese Demir, Erhan Uslu, Servet Devran and Yesim Koksal. The 13 pieces performed were arranged by Iskender Ozan Toprak in the concert.

Iskender Ozan Toprak has organised concerts with a self-arranged orchestra in various locations such as Melbourne Recital Centre, WOMADelaide Music Festival and Port Fairy Folk Festival and is continuing to do so.

bottom of page