Burak Onur Erdem studied music theory and conducting in Istanbul Technical University Centre for Advanced Studies in Music. He worked on form and theory with Michael Ellison, advanced harmony with Adam Roberts, early music with Paul Whitehead and singing with Lynn Trepel. He has refined his choral conducting skills in masterclasses with Johannes Prinz, Maria Guinand, Volker Hempfling, Anders Eby, Denes Szabo and Michael Gohl. Currently he is a PhD Candidate for 2019 in ITU Centre for Advanced Studies in Music with his dissertation Efficiency in Rehearsal: A Study on Choral Conducting Methodology.
Erdem founded the Choral Culture Association in Istanbul as a platform to innovate and develop Turkish choral music. He was elected to the board and the music commission of European Choral Association – Europa Cantat (ECA-EC) in 2015 and appointed to the board of International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM) in 2018. He was awarded ‘The Best Young Conductor’s Prize’ in 38th International Varna Choral Competition and has served as a jury member in the 66th International Arezzo Choral Competition.
He founded the chamber choir Rezonans in Istanbul in 2010 and has won many international awards with the choir. He conducted the Istanbul European Choir between 2013-2016.
He has been working with the Turkish State Choir since 2013 and was appointed its principal conductor in 2017.