Turkish-American violinist Zeynep Alpan started studying the violin at age five as part of her music therapy treatment for speech delay and Auditory Processing Disorder. Almost immediately after being introduced to the violin, Zeynep began to speak, and after a year and a half of violin studies, she won the Peabody Concerto Competition and made her solo debut, performing Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in A minor.
As a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player, Zeynep has appeared in venues including Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, and the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Future engagements include performing as a soloist with the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey during its tour of the U.S. in 2019, and a CD release with the Turkish label Lila Müzik in December 2018, featuring works by living Turkish and American composers.
Zeynep has won first prize in competitions including The Juilliard School Concerto Competition, the Dorothy DeLay Fellowship Competition at the Aspen Music Festival and School, the National Philharmonic Concerto Competition, and the Goldie and Feder Memorial String Competition. In 2015 Zeynep was awarded the Ataturk Youth Achievement Award by the Ataturk Society of America in Washington, DC.
Zeynep is currently pursuing her master’s degree at The Juilliard School as a recipient of the Ahmet Ertegun Scholarship, the C.V. Starr Scholarship, and the Molly Frank and Aliki Perroti Scholarship under the tutelage of Naoko Tanaka. Former teachers have included Oleg Rylatko, Aaron Rosand, and Shirley Givens.
Community outreach and service has played an important part in Zeynep’s musical life. In 2013 she co-founded Sonatas Stopping Starvation, which uses musical excellence to help develop citizens and leaders within the arts and the greater community; its mission is to be of service as artists and citizens to organizations that work to fight hunger. Sonatas Stopping Starvation gave its first benefit concert in November 2013 at The Juilliard School, along with a school-wide food drive. Zeynep is also a Morse Teaching Artist Fellow, a Gluck Community Service Fellow, and a Music Advancement Program Fellow.
Zeynep receives frequent invitations to perform in major music halls in Turkey. At age nine she was featured on Turkish national television performing works by Kreisler and Massenet, and she has worked with Turkish violinist Cihat Aşkin and his educational project Cihat Askin and Little Friends (CAKA), including performing at the opening gala of the Istanbul Toy Museum.
Zeynep is taking business classes at Columbia University through the Barnard-Columbia-Juilliard Exchange program. She also enjoys drinking tea and biking, and is an avid dog lover.