Robert Labaree, Ph.D. is an ethnomusicologist and performer specializing in Turkish music. He has been a member of the New England Conservatory Musicology faculty since 1984 and served as department chair for nine years. He is also a member of the NEC Contemporary Improvisation faculty and is founder of the conservatory’s Intercultural Institute, which since 1993 has presented monthly performances, lectures and residencies by guest artists in a wide range of global traditions to the public and to the conservatory community. From 2009-2012 he served on the editorial staff of the new online journal Analytical Studies in World Music. Beginning in 1985, he collaborated with the instrument-maker Feridun Özgören to create a contemporary version of the Ottoman microtonal harp, çeng, for use in three centuries of Turkish classical, folk and religious music. His solo CD, Çengnağme (Song of the Harp), appeared in Turkey in 2001 on the Kalan label.
He is co-founder with Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol of DÜNYA (the World), a non-profit educational institution established in Boston in 2003 that produces concerts, workshops and recordings exploring the shared traditions of the former Ottoman region. Recordings produced under the DÜNYA label include: Gel Gör Beni Aşk Neyledi (Come see what love has done to me); The Psalms of Ali Ufki; Kuş Dili (The language of birds); Lale ve Kılıç (The tulip and the sword); and Constantinople-Istanbul: A Story of the City. Recent concert series include: Europeans and Ottomans Listen to Each Other, 1500-1700 and İki Cihan Arasında (Between Two Worlds).