Nisan Ak

Adjunct Director of Concert Choir, Theory Labs

Address: Cato Center

Selected as one of the thirty most inspiring people under the age of thirty (30 under 30) by Forbes Turkey in 2019, Nisan Ak is a rapidly rising conductor from Istanbul. She has conducted orchestras on four different continents. Her recent engagements include orchestras in cities such as Ankara, Pachuca, Atlanta, Columbia, Vienna, Pärnu, Washington DC, New York City, and more.

Ak is the founder and the music director of the Bruch Chamber Orchestra (BCO). The BCO has a unique position of being an all-female executive team, a rarity in the classical music world, all under 30. The BCO published its first album in 2022 and was listed in four worldwide playlists by Apple, hitting 100k listeners in under two months.

Besides her career in conducting, Nisan is a public advocate for the accessibility of classical music for all and women’s leadership in the workspace. She creates educational outreach videos in both English and Turkish and gives speeches about women’s visibility and leadership. These engagements include the “+90” channel of Voice of America, TedX talk in METU, short documentaries by CUNY, TRT Music, Haberturk TV, and Mercedes-Benz Turkey.

Currently, Nisan Ak is the Youth Orchestra Music Director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and holds adjunct positions at the College of Charleston. Dr. Ak holds a master’s degree from the City University of New York and a doctorate from the University of South Carolina, both in conducting.

Courses Taught

MUSC 161 - Concert Choir
MUSC 131 - Music Appreciation
MUSC 238 - Music Theory Lab I
MUSC 338 - Music Theory Lab III