Umut Sağlam was born in Ankara in 1998. He started his violoncello studies in 2009 in Hacettepe University State Conservatory with Tufan Tahir Tolga. During these studies, he gave several concerts, including solo performances and chamber music concerts. Starting from 2014, he studied in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory with Dilbağ Tokay. After he completed his studies in Turkey, in 2016 he started studying at the Barenboim – Said Academy with Prof. Frans Helmerson and Claudius Popp.
In among the awards, he won; in 2015, He won the second prize in the International Competition of German and Austrian Music “Magic” and the first prize in the 25th Young Musician International Competition “Città di Barletta”. In 2017, he won the first prize in the “International Young Talents Competition” held by the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra. Also, he performed with the pianist Eren Aydoğan within the “Rising Stars Concert Series”, held by İş Sanat, after which he got awarded the first prize and the “Meriç Soylu Special Award”. In 2018, he won the first prize in the Gaetano Zinetti Music Competition in Italy and the “Tremplin” International Cello Competition in France. He made his first debut as a soloist when he was 15 under the baton of the Turkish conductor Gürer Aykal.
Since then, he performed as a soloist with various orchestras such as Samsun State Opera Orchestra, Bakırköy Chamber Orchestra, Çukurova State Symphony Orchestra, Ankara Youth Symphony Orchestra, MSFAU Symphony Orchestra, Aulnay Sous-Bois Symphony Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, and the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey. Since 2017, he is a scholar of the “Young Musicians on World Stages”(YMWS) project, actualized and mentored by Güher & Süher Pekinel, with the financial support of the Tüpraş Company. In addition to his studies, he participated in various festivals such as Kronberg Academy, Rutesheim Cello Festival, Ysaye’s Knokke, Krzyżowa Music Festival and he had the opportunity to study and share the stage with well-known artists such as; Daniel Barenboim, Jörg Widmann, Steven Isserlis, Gary Hoffman, Gustav Rivinius, Jens Peter Maintz, Peter Bruns, Claudio Bohórquez and Maria Kliegel.
Also, in 2018 he has been invited by Maestro Daniel Barenboim to be a part of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. During season 2019/2020, he was among the 6 laureates at the “Classe d’excellence de Violoncelle”, a mentorship program with the French cellist Gautier Capucon at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. Sağlam still continues his studies with Prof. Frans Helmerson at the Barenboim – Said Akademie. He plays on a Nicolas Lupot cello which was made in 1810 in Paris, which is generously provided by the YMWS Project.