Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts presented the first Aydın Gün Encouragement Award to the young violinist Hande Küden. Dedicated to the estimable memory of Aydın Gün, who was a pioneering figure in the Turkish opera scene and a founding member of the IKSV, the award will be given to a different young Turkish musician every year.

The IKSV launched a new award in its 40th anniversary in 2012 to support up-and-coming young musicians. The Aydın Gün Encouragement Award, which will be presented to a different musician every year, is open to instrumentalists, singers, composers, and conductors under 30 years of age. In its first edition, a jury comprising State Opera and Ballet General Director conductor Rengim Gökmen, State Opera and Ballet Chief Director Yekta Kara, Centre for Advanced Studies in Music Co-Chair violinist Cihat Aşkın, Borusan Culture and Arts General Director Ahmet Erenli, and Istanbul Music Festival Director Yeşim Gürer Oymak selected one young musician from amongst the applications. The 2012 Aydın Gün Incentive Award was given to violinist Hande Küden in recognition of her already successful national and international performances, her strong and steady progress, as well as her promising endeavours.

Born in 1992 in Adana, Hande Küden started the violin at the age of nine at the Çukurova University State Conservatory, where she completed her degree. She is currently Stephan Picard's post-graduate student at the Hanns Eisler Berlin Music Academy. Hande is the winner of various competitions, including the 2nd National Gülden Turalı Violin Competition, 14th International Young Musicians Chamber Music Competition, and the Necdet Remzi Atak Violin Competition. The Lepidus Quartet, in which she has been playing since 2011, won the first prize in the Yaşar University 3rd Chamber Music Competition. Hande performed Beethoven's Triple Concerto with pianist Hüseyin Sermet and cellist Efe Baltacıgil, accompanied by the Turkish National Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Berlin Konzerhaus and the Beethovenfest Bonn. Besides her orchestral engagements as a soloist - including the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, and the Turkey-Armenia Youth Symphony Orchestra - she has held the post of concertmaster in the Istanbul-Essen Youth Orchestra, and principal second violin in the Turkey-Germany Youth Orchestra. Hande was 18 when she passed the auditions for the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic and joined this orchestra. She has been a member of the Deutsche Symphonie Orchesterakademie since 2012. Recital performances have taken her to Russia, Tatarstan, and Germany.

Hande Küden received the Aydın Gün Incentive Award, worth 15,000 TL, at a reception hosted by IKSV's Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı on 11 March, Monday.