Selected as one of the 30 most inspiring people under the age of 30 (30 under 30) by Forbes Turkey in 2019 and 40 most accomplished women of Turkey by the Platin Magazine in 2020, Nisan Ak is a rapidly rising conductor from Istanbul, Turkey.
After her recent debut in Hidalgo, Mexico, Ak conducted orchestras in four different continents. Her recent engagements include orchestras in cities such as Ankara, Pachuca, Atlanta, Columbia, Vienna, Pärnu, Washington DC and more.
Ms. Ak is the founder and the music director of the Bruch Chamber Orchestra (BCO). In addition to its unique position of being an all-female executive team, a rarity in the classical music world, who are all under the age of 30, the BCO is the first student-filled, professionally-oriented chamber orchestra in Columbia, South Carolina and surrounding regions. The BCO prides itself on being dedicated to giving young musicians professional experience in an intimate setting.
Aside from her career in conducting, Ms. Ak often gives speeches and interviews about women’s visibility in workplace and female leadership. These engagements include “+90” channel of Voice of America, TedX talk in METU and short documentaries by CUNY, TRT2, and Haberturk TV.
Ms. Ak is an avid supporter of the accessibility of classical music for everyone and not only elites. She has a YouTube channel named #herkesicinklasikmuzik (classical music for everyone) where she explains excerpts of classical music without using musical jargon and terms. The channel is in her native Turkish with English subtitles which reached over 26,000 followers in only 6 months.
As the assistant conductor of Aiken Symphony Orchestra (ASO), Ms. Ak is closely following her mentor Dr. Donald Portnoy and getting the chance to work with world-wide soloists such as Eroica Trio, Paul Huang, Sara Sant’Ambrogio, Amid Peled, Andrew Tyson and more.
A graduate of Istanbul State Fine Arts High School, Ms. Ak started composing at the age of 15 and was subsequently accepted to Istanbul Bilgi University where she got a chance to compose frequently. Her last piece was commissioned by the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC in 2019.
Nisan Ak is currently the Music Director of the Oratorio Society of Richmond, VA and the Assistant Conductor of the Columbia Chamber Orchestra in SC in addition to BCO and ASO. Ms. Ak is a graduate of the City University of New York’s Masters of Music program in conducting and is All- But-Dissertation in her Doctorate degree at the University of South Carolina.
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