Aşkın, accompanied on the piano by UCLA doctoral student Ayse Taspinar, performed at UCLA's Popper Theater on March 1, 2011.
CIHAT AŞKIN started his violin lessons at the age of 11, gave his first recital at the age of 12, and was able to play all Paganini Caprices before he was 15. He was invited to give recitals throughout Turkey, and toured Europe, Asia, Africa, and the USA. Among his many prizes may be mentioned, the Istanbul Philharmonic Society Award, The Best Bartók interpreter at the 1987 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, Outstanding Merit Prize at the 1990 London Carl Flesch International Violin Competition and Foyer des Artistes (Italy, 2002).
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 the violin education throughout Turkey. He recently established the 'Aşkın Ensemble' which performs variety of music from chamber works to experimental Turkish music.
He is currently Professor of Music at the Turkish State Music Conservatory.
Pianist AYSE TASPINAR is the recipient of a UCLA Ulmer Dissertation Year Fellowship, in the subject of piano music in Ottoman Empire. Her most recent accomplishment was her highly acclaimed presentation at the Soka Gakkai International Culture of Peace Resource Center in Los Angeles, CA. She is currently in the final stages of completing her Doctor of Musical Arts at UCLA.