AGE 42 I SEABROOK, TEXAS I TURKEY / UNITED STATES
Ipek Bozkurt grew up on Van Cliburn stories. Her piano teachers, Elif and Bedii Aran, with whom she studied in Ankara for 15 years (and continues to this day), were themselves Juilliard students under Mme. Rosina Lhévinne, just as Van was. She moved to the United States to pursue a master’s and then Ph.D. in engineering management and has built a career as a professor, currently Program Chair at the University of Houston Clear Lake. She was a self-described “newbie” to the world of amateur competitions in 2016 when she participated in the last Cliburn Amateur; she had an amazing experience, and the 2022 edition marks only her second competition appearance. She recently realized a 30-year dream of owning a grand piano—which she’s named “Black Beauty”—is fluent in two languages, working on two more, and says her “love of music can be extrapolated to all forms of art,” including film, literature, visual art, and knitting.