Born on May 20, 1967 in Mersin, Ali Özkan Manav studied composition in Istanbul at the Mimar Sinan University State Conservatory with Ahmed Adnan Saygun and Ilhan Usmanbaş. Upon receiving a full scholarship from the Higher Education Council in Ankara, he made his doctoral studies with Lukas Foss and Marjorie Merryman at Boston University (1996-99). He has been teaching at his alma mater, Istanbul State Conservatory of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University since 1991.
His orchestral work Sforzati has been premiered in Munich with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in musica viva concert series in 1999. Upon receiving the Deutsche Welle Composition Prize in 2002 another orchestral piece, Portamento lento has been premiered in Beethovenfest in Bonn. His works have received prizes in the USA, Germany, Turkey, Bulgaria, Italy and have been issued on CDs in Turkey, Germany and the USA.
He is interested in investigating musico-cultural connections that, on the surface, are apparently remote or even incompatible. His music gains vital impetus from diversity and opposition. He considers a variety of dualisms, such as cultural, historical, structural, timbral, spatial, acoustical, potentially fertile.