Music, Middle East Studies Bring Guest Artist, Scholar to Campus

Ayse Taspinar
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Ayse Taspinar

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Renowned international pianist Ayse Taspinar will perform a solo recital of her repertoire of Ottoman classical music as well as some well-known Western composers at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, in Giffels Auditorium. She will also present a lecture on “Rediscovering the Shared Cultural Heritage of Armenians and Turks Through Music” at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13, in Old Main, room 208. Both events are free and open to the public.

Her concert will feature a number works by composers such as Komitas Vardapet, Dikran Tchoudhadjian and Ahmed A. Saygun, along with Franz Liszt and E. R. Blanchet.

"I like to play well-known Western composers such as Franz Liszt with unknown pieces like Emile Robert Blanchet's ‘Turquie,’ which captures the mysticism of Turkish culture," said Taspinar, "I also want to introduce music-lovers to the rich cultural mosaic of the Ottoman Empire, and to composers and musicians of different ethnic groups."

The concert is sponsored by the department of music, as part of the Fulbright College Piano Performance Program, in partnership with the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies.

Taspinar has performed throughout Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East, for the presidents of Macedonia and Turkey and as part of the delegation honoring the 75th anniversary of the Turkish Republic in Washington, D.C.

Taspinar is a graduate of the Bilkent University in Turkey, Conservatorio di Roma, the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatorio di Milano and Indiana University.  She has recently received a doctorate of musical arts from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she completed a thesis. Her academic work is part of her broader musical exploration of the synthesis of Western and Middle Eastern classical music traditions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially the compositions – and collaborative efforts – of Turkish and Armenian composers who incorporated local folk melodies into their work.

For concert information, please contact Jura Margulis, McAllister professor of piano, at 479-575-4178 or For lecture information, contact the King Fahd Center at 479-575-2175.



Darinda Sharp, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

Jared Laginess, communications intern
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences


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