Hi, I am Çisem Özkurt. I was born in Brussel, in 26 March 1993. My musical talent was first realised by my folk dance teacher when I was a kid. I entered a 2-step aptitude test made by Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory with the guidance of my mother and won the violin section.

Every thing was really hard at the beginning. Suddenly, I found myself in a very different world. Most of my classmates were members of musician families or they were trained in different conservatories. I even didn't know how to read a musical note and there was nobody in my family to ask about music. The difference between me and my class mates was precipitous. I started my musican conservatory life from scratch.

In order to be successful at my classes that were really hard for me, I studied really hard but also with love. I finished my high school with first degree among my section and second among all school.

At the end of my education with 1 year Erasmus grant at Wroclaw Karol Lipinski Academy of Music, I passed all my exams including Polish language examination after special invitation of the dean. Unfortunately, I came back to Ankara as I couldn't find any scholarship.

During my education, I found the opportunity to be in many international mastership classes and work with world-famous violin virtuoso and got their positive critics such that after a mastership class I was invited by Stockholm Royal Opera's leader violinist Semmy Stahlhammer to be his student at Stockholm Royal Music College. However, I couldn't find a scholarship, again.

During my music career, I had the opportunity to perform countles solo, chamber music and orchestra concerts at different cities of Russia, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Poland and Turkey in different festivals and concert halls.

In June 2015, I graduated with first degree at my section and second degree among all students from Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory which I had started far behind others11 years ago. During this process, I saw that there were not any obstacles that could be surpassed with studying regularly. You can do it, too!

I entered Codarts University of The Arts in Rotterdam for my post graduate education. I could use that third opportunity with the help of Yücel Cultural Foundation and now I am at Rotterdam for my post graduate education.

It is really good to feel the support of Yücel Cultural Foundation, a foundation that values art and artist so much. I am always ready to support and perform for them. I present them my endless thanks for being with me every time both morally and physically.

                                                                                                         Çisem ÖZKURT

(Translated by Volunteer Ali Ata Tuz)

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