BIO


nisan ak 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 scholarships.

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.