Nisan Ak is a rising, woman conductor from Turkey. Today’s Zaman hailed her,
stating, “she’s making that wish come true, without missing a beat.” Born in 1991
in Istanbul, she began her musical studies on guitar at the age of nine, and was
subsequently accepted at the Istanbul Fine Arts High School, where she added
piano and composition to her artistic arsenal.
Ak received her undergraduate education in composition from Istanbul Bilgi
University, where she was the highest-ranking full-scholarship student. While
there, she founded and conducted the Music Department’s choir. Due to her
promising conducting, she was asked by the Conservatory of Mimar Sinan Fine
Arts University (Istanbul) to participate in conducting lessons there.
After graduating, magna cum laude, she was accepted into the Master’s degree
program in Orchestral Conducting at the Aaron Copland School of Music
(CUNY), where she studied with Maestro Maurice Peress.
During her masters, she was selected by the City University of New York for the
honors program and the CUNY value program. Ak graduated with awards and
As a new music lover, she conducted many premieres of acknowledged
composers including Mandelbaum, Pöğün and Saylor. Her contemporary music
repertoire includes but not limited to the composers like Edgard Varèse, John
Williams, Steve Reich, Aaron Copland and George Perle.
She studied with world-known conductors like Paavo Järvi, George Hurst, Tito
Muñoz and Gerard Schwartz. Before getting selected to the University of South
Carolina for the Orchestral Conducting doctorate program, she was participating
Eastern Music Festival as a conducting fellow. Ak is now continuing her DMA in
the studio of Maestro Donald Portnoy with full scholarship.