Betul Soykan (Turkey/USA)
Dr. Betul Soykan is the Assistant Professor of Violin at Wichita State University, having previously taught at the University of Texas-RGV IN Brownsville. Being trained one of the best conservatories of Europe, she holds four degrees in violin performance and string pedagogy. Some of her influential teachers throughout her studies were; Iwona Wojciechowska, the great Romanian virtuoso Ion Voicu and world-renowned violinist and pedagogue Igor Ozim. Right after completion of her undergraduate from Bilkent University in Turkey, Betul was admitted to the Hochschule der Künste Bern in Switzerland; a prestigious music conservatory with an exceptional string department founded by Max Rostal, with a full scholarship to study with Ulrich Lehmann and later with Igor Ozim. There she completed double Masters in Violin performance and String Pedagogy. She received a special distinction award for her Concert Diploma recital as well as first prize of Concerto Competition in Switzerland, where she was chosen to perform Samuel Barber’s violin concerto with the Bern Symphony Orchestra.
During her studies in Europe, Betul has taken active part in master classes and seminars with world-renowned musicians such as Vladimir Spivakov, Igor Ozim, Igor Oistrach, Victor Pikaizen, Trio di Trieste, Stanislav Apolin, Rudolf Baumgartner, and Siegfried Palm are few to mention. She has performed in Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Germany, France, Holland, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and many states in the US, as well as in some of the most prestigious halls around the World, such as: Spivey Hall, Tonhalle Zürich, Concertgebouw, Grand Casino Symphony Hall Bern, Teatro dei Rozzi and others.
She has her doctoral studies completed in 2015 at University of Georgia under the supervision of Dr. Michael Heald, with the dissertation title of “The Complete Violin Sonatas and Selective Violin Works of Joaquín Turina” along with the audio recording of Turina’s violin works.
Betul’s recording of Cesar Frank’s Sonata and other pieces by Swiss composers is available through Eroica Records. In this recording the Sonata by Melchior Ulrich was dedicated to her and had its premier in Switzerland in 1995. Her second album “Complete Sonatas and Selective Violin Works of Joaquin Turina” with pianist Anatoly Sheludyakov is released in July 2015, with Centaur Records.
Dr. Soykan is also known as an advocate of unknown or unjustifiably neglected composers and their violin works. Her reseach interest expands the early-mid 20th century compositions; particularly by relatively unknown composers. Baroque violin compositions; research on using differences of using modern or baroque violin technique. Discovering unpublished violin works is a colossal passion for her.
Dr. Soykan pedagogical approach is dedicated to the strings education and promotion of string music, styled after European Conservatories. She always gives the students the prospect of expanding their own individuality and interpretation while developing a solid technical foundation for each student, which will secure technical control over the instrument and allow them to have the freedom to focus on the music and its interpretation. As a mentor she has produced exceptional musicians and served as a judge in many competitions and as a clinician for master classes and summer courses.
She was the founder and president of Atlanta Strings Conservatory Inc., a non for profit institution, 501(c)3, dedicated to the education and promotion of String Music. She had served as a faculty member and artist in residence at Gordon State College, Clayton State University, Seminole College, Bilkent University, AIMA; Ayvalik International Music Academy, Hochschule der Künste Bern, Schwyz Music Conservatory, Suzuki Institute of Orlando, and other public school institutions in various states. Throughout her teaching career her students have won multiple awards, competitions and variety of auditions.
Betul Soykan performs on a violin made by Antonio Gagliano II, circa 1840 and has is partial to bows make by Eugène Nicolas Sartory and Victor Fatigue.