Having a wide repertoire from Baroque to contemporary music, Turkish-born cellist Rahşan Apay-Durdağ has been actively performing as a recital and orchestral soloist, as well as a chamber musician, throughout the world for thirty years. Among many other concertos from the standard repertoire, she has a special interest in world-premiering works by contemporary composers.
Within the past years, she has had the privilege of premiering, performing and recording music of many living composers, most of whom were Turkish. She has hosted various classical music programs on the National Radio of Turkey (TRT) and has been interviewed as a guest artist. She also recorded with TRT Jazz Orchestra.
Rahşan Apay-Durdağ started to play the cello at the age of 11 as a full-time music student at secondary school level of Mimar Sinan University State Conservatory in Istanbul, Turkey, under the instruction of renowned cello professor Reşit Erzin. She continued her education at the same conservatory with him until she earned her Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Cello Performance. Following her studies, she taught there as a professor of cello for four years. She attended masterclasses given by such prominent cellists as Alexander Rudin, Phillippe Müller and Raphael Pidoux.
Upon an invitation by Phillipe Müller to Paris, she studied with both Prof. Müller and Franz Helmerssohn there. She got special instruction on string quartet from Pierro Farulli and Andre Nannoni at Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Italy. In 1998, she won the second prize at International Cello Competition held in Ankara, Turkey. She has appeared at several international classical music festivals as a soloist as well as a chamber musician. The countries she performed outside her homeland include the USA, Germany, Holland, France, Italy, Greece, Armenia, Hungary, Portugal, Bosnia Herzogovina, Azerbaijan and Russia.
Rahşan Apay-Durdağ served as the principal cellist for the Cemal Reşit Rey Symphony Orchestra, one of the top orchestras of Turkey, between 1998 and 2015, and as the principal cellist for Aşkın Ensemble founded by the renowned Turkish violinist Cihat Aşkın. Currently, she pursues her solo career as a cellist giving many national and international recitals as well as orchestral concerts while performing on a German cello by Paulus & Krause dating from 1900.