Scholarship Stories


Opal İpek Besili


My name is Opal İpek Beşli. I have been playing the violin since I was nine years old. In 1996, my music education started with Prof. Betil Basegmezler at the Hacettepe University State Conservatory. A very short while after my graduation from the Conservatory in 2007, I passed the state personnel examination of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra and became entitled to be a full member in this orchestra. In the meantime, I never gave up on my idea of studying for a master's degree abroad, which was my only dream since I was young. In 2011, I was successful in the examination of the Royal Academy of Music located in London, and the school management notified me that one of the few slots for new musicians had been given to me such that I was eligible for studying at the Royal Academy of Music.

I had the privilege of being the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation scholar in 2011. It was impossible for me to continue my studies in London without the scholarship. I will be grateful until the end of my life to the Suna and Inan Kıraç Foundation for providing me with an opportunity to study at the most prestigious school of Europe during the period of my education with their scholarship.

After graduating with merit from the Royal Academy, I had the privilege of studying for a new field at the Orchestral Artistry Department of the Guildhall School of Music, again located in London and connected with London Symphony Orchestra (LSO).

During my education, I performed at many places, including Barbican Hall, Duke's Hall, LSO St. Luke’s, Royal Institute of British Architects, Excel and St James's Church, with world-famous conductors (Sir Colin Davis, Yan Pascal Tortellier, Sir Mark elder, Pablo Casado Heras, Edward Gardner, Thierry Fischer). In addition, during the period of my education, I participated at many concert projects during the era of Mr. Unal Cevikoz, who was our ambassador at Turkish Embassy in London.

The master class programs that I was involved with in London made great contributions to my professional career. The work with my trainers James Sleigh and Krzystof Chorselski; Paul Silverthorne, the principal violist of the London Symphony Orchestra; and German Clavio, who is a member of London Symphony Orchestra, made great contributions to my professional career.

The Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation has given me an opportunity to have a well-equipped and wonderful education, which I can carry with me until the end of my life.