|Branch of Art
||Turkish classical music: music of the Ottoman Empire, world music theory, composition, modal theory, musical globalization, phenomenology of music, melodic modal systems of the Middle East and Central Asia
Assistant Professor Münir Nurettin Beken received his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Maryland. His career spans theory, composition, ethnomusicology, and performance. He studied composition with Cemal Resit Rey, Yalçın Tura, and Stuart Smith, and participated in composition workshops with such luminaries as George Crumb, Lukas Foss, Philip Glass, Roger Reynolds, Steve Reich and Charles Wuorinen. Dr. Beken’s compositions have been performed internationally with considerable recognition in some of the most significant concert halls in the world.
Dr. Beken has given recitals in such venues as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Herbst Theater in San Francisco. He was one of the founding members of the State Turkish Music Ensemble. Dr. Beken conducted the ITU Chamber Orchestra in Istanbul and Siena Chamber Orchestra in up-state New York. As conductor of the State Conservatory Orchestra of Istanbul, Dr. Beken recorded numerous television programs, including many of his own compositions for TRT (the Turkish state Radio and Television network). As an accomplished master of the ud, Dr. Beken has performed with many eminent artists of Turkish classical music and has recorded a solo CD with Rounder Records. In 1992 he became the first instrumentalist to perform a solo recital of Turkish traditional music in the Istanbul International Festival. In 1994 he won the Individual Artist Award of the Maryland State Arts Council and became the Executive Director of the Center for Turkish Music at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. American composers Melodie Linhart, Eric Flesher and Christopher Shainin have written original compositions for Dr. Beken. The performance of his Triple Concerto featured the eminent violinist Shlomo Mintz. Dr. Beken’s symphonic poem Gallipoli was premiered in March 2005 and A Turk in Seattle featured Seattle Chamber Players in February 2006 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. The world premier of his Blue Monologue for solo violin was performed in June 2006 at Carnegie Hall. Some of his works have won awards in international competitions. His composition “I Am a Corpse” for violin and orchestra was released with conductor Robert Ian Winstin and Czech Philharmonic Orchestra by ERMMedia. His compositional style redefines itself from work to work. His music was published by Amplitude Music in France.
His scholarly interests include the phenomenology of music, cognitive musicology, and melodic modal systems of the Middle East and Central Asia. Dr. Beken has written several articles for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and other scholarly publications, and a premier journal in Ethnomusicology. Dr. Beken is currently Assistant Professor of theory and composition in Ethnomusicology Department at University of California Los Angeles. He is a member of ASCAP.