Cihat Aşkın (1968)
Virtuoso violinist, Composer, Writer
Born in Istanbul, Aşkın started his violin lessons at the age of eleven with Ayhan Turan, at the Turkish Music State Conservatory of Istanbul Technical University, graduating in 1989. He completed his studies in London, studying under Rodney Friend at the Royal College of Music (where he took all the major solo and chamber music awards), and Yfrah Neaman at City University (1992-1996, doctoral programme).
He was appointed violin professor in 1998 and founded the Advanced Music Research Center (MIAM), and became its first director in 2000; he was appointed academic Professor in 2006 at ITU. Aşkın is currently Professor of Music at the Turkish State Music Conservatory.
He gave his first recital at the age of twelve, and was able to play all the Paganini Caprices before he was fifteen. After his recital in 1983 he was invited by the İstanbul State Symphony Orchestra to play Tchaikovsky's violin concerto. Since then Aşkın has been a regular soloist for all the major orchestras of Turkey. He has been invited to give recitals throughout the country, and has toured in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the U.S.A.
Aşkın has won many musical prizes. A noted champion and broadcaster of modern Turkish music, he has recorded extensively with a wide repertoire. He also composes pieces for violin and various instruments.
Aşkın became the founder and music director of the Istanbul Chamber Orchestra between 2001 and 2006, and was the founder of the Istanbul Modern Music Ensemble (IMME). He also established an educational project called CAKA - 'Cihat Aşkın and Little Friends' - which develops violin education throughout Turkey. He recently established the Aşkın Ensemble, which performs a variety of music from chamber works to experimental Turkish music.