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Strategy of Turkish Music


Interview: Emel Sönmez


Istanbul-born Turkish violinist Cihat Aşkın has been recognized as the international representative of the Turkish violin school with his identity shaped as a man of culture who has a good grasp of  both the east and the western world and has stepped on the two continents of the world.


When he was very young, he was sent to a conservatory by his family who had recognized his interest in music.With his exceptional talent and disciplined works, he graduated from Prof. Ayhan Turan’s class,  gave his first recital at the age of 11, played all Paganini Caprices when he was 15 and he was in the pubic eye throughout the country by his first concerts with the Turkish Presidential Symphony Orchestra. He then continued his studies with Rodney Friend at The Royal College of Music and Yfrah Neaman at The City University in London, and completed his Master's and doctoral programs.


Awarded at many national and international platforms including Menuhin and Flesch contests, Aşkın was given Roma Foyer des Artistes in 2002, the Kennedy Center - Gold Medal award in 2009 and Buenos Aires honorary title in 2017. He became an associate professor in 1998 and a full professor in 2006 at Istanbul Technical University, went on his academic and art career as the founder and co-chair of the Center for Advanced Studies in Music (MIAM) between 1999 and 2012 at the same university. Meanwhile, he served as the director of the Turkish Music State Conservatory between the years of 2008 and 2012.


Recognized as one of the leading violin virtuosos of today by the music authorities, Aşkın, as an international violin virtuoso, has participated in countless festivals, concerts and recitals in 4 continents and 51 countries. In these concerts he shared the stage with esteemed artists such as Shlomo Mintz, Yoel Levi, Raphael Walfisch, Jesus Lopes-Cobos, Ida Haendel, and received praise from the world press.


In  2001, he launched “Cihat Aşkın and Little Friends” (CALF) project to provide children meet with music aesthetics at an early age. This project was called a revolutionary movement which gave a start to the stage career of many artists in Turkey and the neighboring region. Aşkın has also established Aşkın Ensemble in 2007 with the aim of supporting young artists and gathered educational activities within Aşkın Academia in 2017.


We present the world famous violin virtuoso, Prof. Dr. Cihat Aşkın, who has dedicated his life to music and music education, with very important explanations about the history and current state of Turkish music,  importance of music education, how to leap forward in musical studies, the importance of merit for those who are assigned in decision-making process.