The 42nd Istanbul Music Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) under the sponsorship of Borusan Holding, will welcome music lovers with an impressive program this year. This year’s festival will be held between May 31 and June 27 with the theme of “The Song of Nature.”

The 42nd Istanbul Music Festival will host approximately 800 local and foreign artists including Steven Isserlis, Isabelle van Keulen, Alexander Raskatov, Nelson Freire, Pepe Remero, Krzysztof Penderecki, Xavier de Maistre, and Yuja Wang as well as examples of world’s leading orchestras Sinfonia Varsovia and Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela in Istanbul.

Twenty-six concerts in the city

Twenty-six concerts including orchestral concerts, chamber music, vocal concerts, and recitals within the festival program will take place in different venues including Burgazada Square, Hagia Eirene Museum, Süreyya Opera House, Surp Vortvots Vorodman Church, İş Sanat Concert Hall, Zorlu Center Performing Arts Center, and Boğaziçi University Albert Long Hall. The festival will also present free-of-charge concerts titled “Classical Sundays” in venues such as Maçka Cumhuriyet Parkı, Istanbul Toy Museum, Sakıp Sabancı Museum “The Horse Mansion” Garden and Austrian Cultural Office Garden.

The festival continues to support young musicians with special projects in its program. “Istanbul Music Festival in Search of its Young Soloist,” which started in the 40th year of the festival to discover and encourage young talents throughout the country, will continue this year in piano. A young pianist, to be determined by a jury following the national audition, will perform within the festival.

Another significant youth project in the festival program will be the concert by Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, one of the most important products of the orchestral academic program of the Fundacion Musical “Simón Bolivar” led by the El Sistema founder José Antonio Abreu. The enormous orchestra with 240 performers will have an unforgettable concert with their colorful and powerful energy in order to reinforce our beliefs in the power of music. Christian Vásquez, who is one of the talents grown in El Sistema, will be the conductor in this concert.

The 42nd Istanbul Music Festival will host three concerts with the cooperation of Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage celebrating 600 years of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Poland. Sinfonia Varsovia will be the guest of the festival for two special concerts as well as the world premiere of “Crying in the Wilderness” composed by the prominent musician Alexander Raskatov with the commission of the festival. In their first concert, Sinfonia Varsovia will accompany the prominent pianist Piotr Anderszewski; while in the second concert, they will perform the Turkish premiere of the 2nd Symphony of Krzysztof Penderecki, one of the most important musicians alive, under the composer’s baton as well as Mendelssohn’s violin concerto with Julian Rachlin.

Opening concert

The festival will begin with the opening ceremony and concert to be held on May 31 at Zorlu Center Performing Arts Center. Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gürer Aykal will accompany the young cellist Dorukhan Doruk who was highly awarded in international competitions.

One of the important events of the festival will be the concert by Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela with 240 performers conducted by the music director Christian Vásquez, who is one of the talents grown in the inspiring El Sistema, in Zorlu Center Performing Arts Center on June 10. Under the “Classical Sundays” headline, young percussionist Elman Mecid will perform shortly in Istanbul Toy Museum on June 7. In the second concert to be held in Maçka Cumhuriyet Park on June 8 Elman Mecid will have a solo performance. Cellist Dilbağ Tokay and pianist Emine Serdaroğlu will meet with the music lovers in Sakıp Sabancı Museum “The Horse Mansion” Garden on Sunday, June 15.

Ensemble Concilium musicum Wien will perform in the garden of Austrian Cultural Office Garden on June 22.

Tickets for the festival will be on sale Feb. 8. The program booklet of the 42nd Istanbul Music Festival can be found at İKSV building and Biletix sales points.

Istanbul will be treated to the sounds of Beethoven this December as the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra (BIPO) performs works from the classical master later this week.

The orchestra will be performing a number of concerts of Beethoven’s works until Dec. 21. As part of the event, Zeynep Tanbay’s latest project based on Beethoven’s String Instruments Quartet, “Symbiosis,” will be on stage for a world premiere. The dance performance’s music will be performed by the Borusan Quartet live at the event. A number of international musicians will be in town for the concerts, which will take place at the Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center and Concert Salon in Harbiye.

The BIPO will be conducted by Sascha Goetzel with famous soloists. On Dec. 18 BIPO will play Beethoven’s “3rd Symphony Violin Concerto Op. 61,” together with violin virtuoso Christian Tetzlaff. The following day will feature Alexei Volodin, the 2003 winner of the 9th Concours Géza Anda in Zurich, who will interpret Beethoven’s “5th Piano Concerto” as BIPO plays the famous “5th Symphony.” Volodin has worked with conductors like Riccardo Chailly, Mikhail Pletnev, Eiji Oue, Gerd Albrecht, Carlo Rizzi, Zoltan Kocsis, David Zinman, Valery Gergiev and Vladimir Fedoseyev, among others.

On Dec 21, BIPO will host Alois Glassner’s Salzburg Bach Choir and soprano Ruth Ziesak, mezzosoprano Daniela Lehner, tenor Richard Croft and bassist David Soar. Ziesak is famous for her appearances in performances of Mozart’s operas, such as Pamina in “The Magic Flute” at the Salzburg Festival 1991 and recorded with Georg Solti, Servilia in “La clemenza di Tito,” which was recorded with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, or the Countess in “Il nozze di Figaro” at Glyndebourne with the Zurich Opera.

The event will also include a world premiere of the Zeynep Tanbay Dance Project alongside the Borusan Quartet. Tanbay’s new performance, “Symbiosis,” marks a return to the stage for the dancer and choreographer after a hiatus of two-and-a-half years. Tanbay reassembled her company for a commission she received from the Beethoven Festival, which was launched this year by Borusan Culture and Arts.

The Beethoven Festival is taking on a totally new dimension with the world premiere of Tanbay’s project, which is choreographed to a selection of the composer’s great String Quartets.

Istanbul is preparing to host the two-day 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit next Thursday and Friday. According to a statement from the president's...


Istanbul is preparing to host the two-day 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit next Thursday and Friday. According to a statement from the president's...