Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship

Established by The American Turkish Society in 2007 in memory of Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records and long-time chairman of The Society, the Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship supports talented musicians of Turkish descent in their studies at The Juilliard School in New York City.  The scholarship continues Mr. Ertegun’s legacy and lifelong dedication to uplifting emerging musical talents by providing vital aid to deserving Juilliard musicians of Turkish descent.

Ahmet Ertegun
Ahmet Ertegun

The American Turkish Society’s Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship helps ensure that Juilliard’s talented students of Turkish descent can pursue their studies free of undue financial burden. Since 2008, the scholarship has provided $110,000 in aid to six Juilliard musicians to help defray the cost of tuition. The majority of the recipients were able to rely on this vital support across multiple years of study, furthering enhancing the scholarship’s impact.

The Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship recipients benefit from Juilliard’s unwavering commitment to providing the highest caliber of artistic education for gifted musicians, dancers, and actors from around the world, so that they may achieve their fullest potential as artists, leaders, and global citizens. Students receive rigorous training and individualized coaching from world-class faculty and guest artists and are offered an unparalleled variety of performance opportunities to hone their craft. Pedagogy at Juilliard is firmly student-centered and is devoted to helping young artists make the most of their individual talents. The Juilliard embraces a holistic educational approach that nurtures complete artists who are also engaged with the world around them. This includes a strong foundation in the Liberal Arts, and a variety of extra-curricular opportunities in entrepreneurship and community engagement.

Thanks to the funds provided by the scholarship, the Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship alumni have gone on to make an impact in the music field. Opera singer Önay Köse (2012-15) has performed with the Canadian Opera Company, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, and will soon make his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut. Most recently, he served as a company member of Berlin’s famed Komische Oper. Burak Özdemir is a successful bassoonist on an exclusive recording contract with Sony Music and the 2019-20 awardee, Yigit Karatas is a virtuosic violinist who will graduate this May with his Master of Music in violin performance from Juilliard. 

The Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a student of Turkish descent by The Juilliard School’s Scholarship Committee on the basis of artistic merit and financial need. To learn more about the scholarship process at Juilliard, please visit the School’s scholarship webpage


Previous Scholars

2023: Eylul Esme Bolucek


2020 & 2021: Korkmaz Can Saglam

2019: Yigit Karatas

2017-2018: Zeynep Alpan

2012-2015: Önay Kağan Köse

2009- 2011: Cağdas Özkan

2010: Burak Özdemir

2008: Kazım Cokoğullu