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Music Festival Time for Istanbul

Music Festival Time for Istanbul

The Istanbul Music Festival organised by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, under the sponsorship of Borusan is greeting the music lovers in its 39th year with a fully packed program.

The Istanbul Music Festival, sponsored by Borusan Holding since 2006 will take place between June 4-29 this year. Hosting three world and six Turkey premieres, the Istanbul Music Festival will host star names in Istanbul including Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet,


Patricia Petibon, Hilary Hahn, Renée Fleming, Christoph Eschenbach, and one of the most significant orchestras of classical music, Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, as well as over 600 local and foreign artists. Besides pre-concert talks and colloquiums, for the first time this year master classes open to the audiences will be organized.

From this year on, the Istanbul Music Festival will construct its programme with a theme. With the 39th Istanbul Music Festival’s programme that is created in line with the “Journeys to Far Away Lands” theme, the music of a vast geography ranging from the west side of America to Russia, from Spain to Buenos Aires, Venice, Indian Ocean and Mexico, will meet the festival audience.

In this year’s Istanbul Music Festival, there will be 24 concerts including, symphony and chamber orchestras, vocal concerts, chamber music and recitals. The festival this year will also attract attention with its different concert venues. As an addition to the classic venues of the festival such as the Hagia Eirene Museum, Archaeological Museum, Enameled Kiosk, Süreyya Opera House and Lutfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Center, different venues like Galata Mevlevihanesi, Istanbul University Rectorate Building, Istanbul Modern and santralistanbul-Energy Museum also participate in the festival this year.

From this year on, through commissioning works to the local and foreign composers, the festival is taking a significant step in enriching its contemporary music repertoire. In this context, commissioned by the Istanbul Music Festival, the world premieres of İlhan Usmanbaş’s and the young composer Turgut Pöğün’s new compositions, will take place in the scope of the festival.

The programme of the 39th Istanbul Music Festival is announced in a press conference at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus. IKSV Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı, Borusan Culture and Arts Chair of the Board of Directors Zeynep Hamedi and The Istanbul Music Festival Director Yeşim Gürer Oymak delivered speeches during the press conference.

During the press conference, IKSV Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı said that “one of the aims of our Foundation, which gives direction to Istanbul’s art and culture life, is to support the artistic production across different disciplines. In this respect, starting from this year we will commission works to various composers to enrich our contemporary classical music repertoire. In the 39th Festival, the world premieres of the new works, commissioned by the Istanbul Music Festival to the great master İlhan Usmanbaş, who is celebrating his 90th birthday this year, and to one of Usmanbaş’s student the young composer Turgut Pöğün will take place. We are very happy that we will have a share in improving the classical music repertoire with motivating the creation of new works. We wish that the 39th Istanbul Music Festival will take you to colourful and refreshing journeys, and we present our cordial acknowledgements to the Four Seasons Hotel at the Bosphorus that hosts us today, and at the outset to our festival sponsor Borusan, and to all other institutions and corporations that continue to support us.”

Chairperson for Borusan Center for Culture and Arts, Zeynep Hamedi stated that “As Borusan, we are working hard to disseminate and endear classical music for long years, and the current status of our orchestra BIFO today, is a nice evidence of how our efforts have met their counterparts. Moreover, our happiness deepens, as the Istanbul Music Festival becomes one of the most respectable activities of the world in its own field. Our bond with both the festival and with IKSV gained more strength when in 2003 Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra became the resident orchestra of the Music Festival. In 2006, we agreed to sponsor the festival for ten years and in this way we once more proved our determination in supporting the classical music and the festival. Apart from the studies we have been conducting with Borusan Culture and Art since 1997 up to now, we believe that it is rather significant to support IKSV, which brings together the prominent names of the business world under its own roof and we will sustain our support to IKSV. When it comes to this year’s festival, firstly we organize the opening concert with BIFO. Our Orchestra will also accompany great stars in Hilary Hahn and Renee Fleming concerts, whose sponsorships are also undertaken by us. In order to share the enthusiasm of the festival with the music lovers who cannot make it to the festival, our studies continue to provide live broadcasting at two open air venues on the each sides of the city.”

Lastly, Istanbul Music Festival Director Yeşim Gürer Oymak stated in her speech that “This year we constructed the festival programme on a theme that we created after an evaluation of repertoires. The theme of this year’s festival is “Journeys to Faraway Lands”. Within the framework of the festival theme, we asked the artists and ensembles to include some of the works we specified into their repertoires, as well as various projects. While some of these works carry the local motifs of the host culture, the rest narrates the composers journeys to different countries and cities, and the far away lands that were not travelled but yet imagined”. After underlining the theme of the festival in her speech, Yeşim Gürer Oymak also explained the festival program to the press members.

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