Nermin Kaygusuz was born in Ankara. She began her music studies at the Turkish Music State Conservatoire where she studied violin with Erdoğan Saydam. She began learning the four-string kemençe in 1989 with Cüneyd Orhon and subsequently taught the instrument for many years at the Turkish Music State Conservatory. She received her professorship in 2007 and is currently working at the ITU Turkish Music State Conservatoire. Kaygusuz has published many articles in various Turkish and international journals, and is the author of the book Muallim İsmail Hakkı Bey ve Musiki Tekâmül Dersleri (2006).
As a kemençe player and singer, Nermin Kaygusuz is one of Turkey’s most eminent performers of both traditional Turkish music and new music. She has widely performed with various ensembles such as Hezarfen Ensemble, Istanbul Baroque Ensemble, Avaze, Arayışlar, Gönülden Damlalar, Melodias Epicas, and Buluşma, in Turkey and internationally. Kaygusuz has featured in various recordings with music ensembles, such as “Osmanlı Barok” with Istanbul Baroque Ensemble and “Of Light and Shadows” with Hezarfen Ensemble, and to date released three recordings under her own name, entitled “Gönülden Damlalar”, “Kemençe ve Gitarla Saz Eserleri”, and “Telkâri.”
Kaygusuz has been actively involved in new music performance incorporating the idiom of Turkish maqam music and Turkish instruments. She premiered Onur Türkmen’s Hat for kemençe and strings, the first new music composition written for kemençe, and is a collaborator in the ERC-funded research project Beyond East and West: Developing and Documenting an Evolving Transcultural Musical Practice. Kaygusuz also has a microtonal guitar and kemençe duo with Tolgahan Çoğulu.