Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive at Berklee College of Music

Launched in 2007 in memory of Arif Mardin (1932-2006), world-renowned producer/arranger and Vice Chairman of the American Turkish Society, the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship aims to further the education of promising musicians from Turkey by providing an opportunity to study in the United States. The program is conducted in partnership with Berklee College of Music in Boston, where Mardin’s successful music career began as the first recipient of the Quincy Jones Scholarship.

The Fellowship includes tuition, housing, and fees, as well as a stipend, for the five-week program. Fellows are selected by the Berklee College of Music through an application process each spring.

Born in 1932 in Istanbul, Arif Mardin was a world-famous music producer. Upon graduating from Berklee College of Music, Mardin began his career at Atlantic Records in 1963. In 1969, he became vice president of Atlantic Records and later served as the senior vice president until 2001. He worked closely on many projects with the company’s co-founder Ahmet Ertegun and producer Jerry Wexler. Arif Mardin retired from Atlantic Records in May 2001 and re-activated his label, Manhattan/EMI Records, from which he received great acclaim for his work with Norah Jones. During his 40-year career, Mardin collected over 40 gold and platinum albums, 15 Grammy nominations and 12 Grammy Awards. In 1990, Arif Mardin was inducted into the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. Mardin's talent benefited numerous artists in a variety of genres such as Aretha Franklin, the Bee Gees, Chaka Khan, Roberta Flack, Hall & Oates, Jewel, Patti Labelle, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Ringo Starr and Barbra Streisand, among others.



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