The İstanbul Music Festival, organised by the İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), celebrates its 50th anniversary! The festival event, which is the yearly highlight of İKSV, will once again offer unforgettable moments to music lovers, who will surely remember its rich history of hosting delightful sounds from different cultures. Organised under the theme of “İstanbul” this year, the İstanbul Music Festival will host specially-invited musicians between 6-24 June.
Opening Concert: Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra & Kirill Gerstein
The opening concert of the festival, which will start on Monday, June 6, will take place at 20:00 at Atatürk Cultural Centre. Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra and its permanent conductor, Aziz Shokhakimov, will accompany Berlin-based Russian-American Kirill Gerstein, one of the most important pianists of our time. Please be aware that the concert that will last for 90 minutes without an intermission.
The concert program includes Ferit Tüzün’s Nasreddin Hodja, one of the most important works in contemporary Turkish classical composition, and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story“.
At the eagerly-awaited award ceremony which is traditionally held before the concert, the 50th İstanbul Music Festival Honorary Award will be presented to noted composer and educator Özkan Manav.
Festival Concerts at AKM Again After a Long Break
The 50th İstanbul Music Festival will play host to notable orchestras and star musicians over a three-week period. Atatürk Cultural Centre (commonly called the AKM), which has witnessed many events since it first opened, is hosting the opening ceremony and concert on this 50th anniversary of the festival. Within the scope of the festival events, a total of eight concerts will be presented at AKM. A special highlight among these concerts will be the Presidential Symphony Orchestra & Gautier Capuçon performance. This very special concert performance, in which orchestra conductor Cemi’i Can Deliorman will be accompanied by the renowned French cellist Gautier Capuçon, will take place on Sunday, June 12, at 20:00.
In addition, during the first week of the festival, additional concerts being held within the scope of the Beyoğlu Culture Route Festival will also be hosted by AKM.
A Unique Music Feast in the Most Beautiful Locations in the City
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the İstanbul Music Festival will take place in only the most appealing venues the city can offer. The French Palace, Tophane-i Amire Culture and Art Centre will host many events as part of the festival, as will the AKM in Beyoğlu, Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall and Harbiye Saint Esprit Cathedral in Harbiye. Sakıp Sabancı Museum Fıstıklı Terrace in Emirgan; additionally, classical meeting places such as the Süreyya Opera, Yeldeğirmeni Art Centre, and houses of worship such as the Kadıköy Hemdat Israel Synagogue, Bahariye Aya Triada Greek Orthodox Church, and Moda Virgin Mary-Assumption Church in Kadıköy are also taking part in the festival.
İstanbul: Music of the City
In this part of the festival, a concert will be held in the Basilica Cistern, one of the most acoustically impressive sites of the city’s historical monuments, with a programme by singer Çağlar Fidan alongside musical performances by Asineth Fotini Kokkala and Nikos Papageorgiou. The concert, in which selections from 16th and 17th century Ottoman/Turkish music will be presented, will take place on Friday, June 10 at 21:00. İstanbul: Music of the City, a work specially conceived for İstanbul by the trio, covers a repertoire inspired by the daily life of İstanbul during the Ottoman period. During the concert, the works of composers from different cultures and religions, who were born or lived in İstanbul during the Ottoman period, will resound in the fascinating acoustical atmosphere of the Basilica Cistern. The event is also very meaningful for the entire festival, which comes to us this year under the theme of “İstanbul”.
Music Route @ Kadıköy
Music Route (guided walks interspersed with live performances) turns its eye upon Kadıköy in this 50th anniversary of the festival. Kadıköy, one of the most beautiful locales of old İstanbul, is colourful and diverse, existing to be rediscovered by music-loving explorers. The doors of the fascinating edifices of Kadıköy will be open to music lovers on the route, which starts from the Yeldeğirmeni Art Centre on Sunday, June 19th at 13:00. The stops on the route, which you will visit accompanied by professional guides, consist of the magnificent historical buildings of the district. Since the concert venues will be accessible only on foot, it is recommended that the audience take care to wear comfortable shoes. The Music Route walking tour, which consists of four very unique concerts, will end with the Duo Aliada concert at the Moda Virgin Mary – Assemblage Church.
Musica Sequenza: Rameau à la Turque
Rameau à la Turque, the closing concert of the festival, consists of a combined repertoire consisting of many different works from the Renaissance to the present. Bassoon player Burak Özdemir and his band Musica Sequenza, who are known for their many important projects, will present their magnificent work as an intimate dialogue between the French baroque of Jean-Philippe Rameau and the Ottoman palace music composer Tanburi Mustafa Çavus. The connection between the Ottoman period of modernisation in combination with French culture is evident in the Eastern motifs in 18th century European painting, the street names of İstanbul, and the influence on the Paris fashion of the period. Burak Özdemir states that his project was born from the idea of “combining the ney and the qanun, which are unique to the East, with Western baroque instruments”.
The festival programme will come to an end with this marvelous concert that will take place in Tophane-i Amire, one of İstanbul’s most beautiful historical venues.
Best Music for Music Lovers of All Ages
As every year, the İstanbul Music Festival hosts a multitude of free events for music lovers. Within the festival, workshops will be held, in addition to free concerts for children and young people during the event that is spread across sides of the city. The “A Weekend with Music” series, which will be held within the scope of family events, will take place in two parts. “Weekend Classics” is another event that seeks to bring children and their families together within the framework of classical music. The venues for this two-part event are Yıldız Park and Fenerbahçe Park.
If you want to enjoy the melodies surrounding the city and explore İstanbul to the fullest, İstanbul hotels await you. Hotels in Sultanahmet, Taksim, Harbiye, Tophane, Kadıköy and many other city landmarks are within reach, with the all the benefits of traveling with Odamax!