b. 1964, Istanbul, Turkey. From the age of 11 he studied at the State Conservatory of Istanbul specializing in the Turkish classical repertoire, the ud (Turkish/Middle Eastern lute) and also Western classical music and composition. He graduated with honours and then taught at the Conservatory whilst studying for his bachelors degree. During this time he also began to perform on local television. He also represented his country at an international music festival in Poland and had many of his compositions performed by ensembles and orchestras. Following the completion of his BA studies, Beken helped to form the State Turkish Music Ensemble along with other respected Turkish classical musicians. He also began composing for local television, radio and ballet companies and has subsequently won numerous awards for his work on soundtracks. In 1989 he moved to the USA to study Ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland, where he subsequently became the Executive Director of the Centre for Turkish Music. He was invited by Rounder Records to compile Masters Of Turkish Music Volume Two, an anthology of recordings from the early twentieth century, and subsequently recorded his debut, The Art Of The Turkish Ud, for the same label. It featured solo ud performances of pieces from the Turkish classical repertoire, allowing Beken to display his mastery of the instrument and featuring a surprising variety of moods and tempos for a solo recording.