The American Turkish Society announced that the 2008-2009 Ahmet Ertegün Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to two Turkish students, one of them being Bilkent University graduate Kazım Çokoğullu. The scholarship was started last year by The American Turkish Society in remembrance of Ahmet Ertegün, founder of Atlantic Records and long-time Society chairman. Its purpose is to support talented musicians of Turkish descent studying at New York City's Julliard School, which is internationally known for its focus on music, drama and dance.
Kazım Çokoğullu was born in İzmir in 1984 and began to study guitar when he was thirteen years old. A student of Kağan Korad, he received his bachelor's degree with honors from Bilkent University. He has won prizes in several international competitions and was named a "Star of the Future" by Andante Magazine. Kazım has studied with musicians Marco Socias, Carlo Domeniconi, Roland Dyens and Dale Kavanagh, and last season was a soloist in the Mauro Giuliani Guitar Concerto (Op.30) with the Anatolian University Orchestra.
As one of the first recipients of the Ahmet Ertegün Memorial Scholarship, Kazım Çokoğullu will continue his education at Julliard, and contribute to a greater cultural understanding between the US and Turkey.