A True and Shining Artist of Talent and Dedication – Ayse Taspinar
Taspinar’s career is full of achievements. Starting her musical education in Ankara, Taspinar was admitted to “Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Rome with highest recognition and continued her education as a disciple of Pieralberto Biondi. In later years, the Pianist returned to Turkey, continuing her studies in Bilkent University Faculty of Music and Stage Arts along with Ersin Onay. In 2000, she graduated Bilkent University as the top student of the Department and Faculty.
In less than a year, she continued her education in Italy, completing the Diploma di Pianoforte program in “Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan as the highest ranking student of Vincenzo Balzani. After also being admitted to the Post Diploma Concertists Department in the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory, she reinforced her career as the winner of several important international competitions such as the Kawai International Competition and the Seiler International Competition – both held in Italy.
After completing her studies in the University of California of Los Angeles (UCLA), the artist assessed the Ottoman history and culture in her thesis, successfully incorporating her art with the history of her homeland Turkey.
We interviewed Taspinar, who is still residing in the United States, about her art, her view of music, her globally recognized concerts.
Alaturka Online (A.O.) : So you recently completed your studies at UCLA, and now I assume you are pursing your concert career, how is that coming along?
Ayse Taspinar (A.T.) : Mostly I’m involved with solo recitals but occasionally I perform with Chamber ensembles. During my studies most of my recitals have been in the Los Angeles area but lately I have started to perform all around the US. Recently I gave a recital and lecture at the University of Arkansas. I also have performances scheduled with renowned musicians in major concert halls in Chicago and New York City, and am currently planning to perform in Canada and France as well.
(A.O.) : You’ve recently held a lecture and a concert in University of Arkansas. Could you tell us about this concert?
(A.T.) : I was invited by Jura Margulis, the concert was held in Giffels Auditorium, followed by a lecture on the Ottoman composers the next day. The audience was radiant and young. During The lecture following my concert, I was able to illuminate the audience with the Biography of the composers and historical background in which they composed these wonderful pieces.
(A.O.) : How are American audiences reacting to music by Turkish composers in your concerts?
(A.T.) : The audience reaction was curious and happy to discover something new and never heard of before. American audience is very welcoming to listening and accept something new and undiscovered, especially the younger generation. After my concerts I have been approached by several musicians wishing to perform some of the Turkish pieces from my concerts. They love the rhythms and the clustered approach of the composers.
(A.O.) : How does living in Los Angeles affect your career as a pianist?
(A.T.) : Being in such a great city that has a culture life has given me the opportunity to meet and perform with great musicians in important music halls. It’s a great place where you can network with other musicians from throughout the country and even the world. For example, an interesting aspect of living in Los Angeles is Hollywood. It affects everyone’s life, even a classical musician’s. I received an offer pending my work permit to play piano in a movie starring Hillary Swank, as her piano double, playing Chopin Polonaise, known as the famous heroic one. I am receiving numerous offers from various movie directors and producers for similar role options.
(A.O.) : How do you think you are representing your country as an artist in the world?
(A.T.) : Coming from a country that is considered a bridge between west and east, it gives me a very unique role as a musician to bring different cultures together. Since classical music is considered to be the highest art form of the western world, often people are surprised to listen to a Turkish pianist performing this high art form of classical repertoire professionally. Most westerners are not aware that even the royalty of the Ottoman dynasty played western instruments, performed and composed western style classical music. I enjoy bringing to my audience some of these Turkish classical music gems.
AlaturkaOnline / Los Angeles