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Istanbul hosts world music festival

ISTANBU - Hürriyet Daily News | 12/2/2010 12:00:00 AM |

The 'Golden Routes' project, organized with support from the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency, is presenting the Istanbul World Music Festival starting Friday. The festival, which is continuing until Dec. 17, will feature songs performed by artists from different nationalities in different languages, proving the universality of music

Bringing together artists from around the world, the Istanbul World Music Festival, an important aspect of the “Golden Routes” project, is beginning Friday.

From Spain to Ukraine, from Macedonia to Hungary and from Germany to Serbia, songs that are sung in different languages, melodies inspired by each other and artists that convey their local music to universal values are coming together for the Istanbul World Music Festival.

Organized by Pi Production with support from the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency, “Golden Routes” outlines the importance of intercultural dialogue and the roles of travelers and artists in establishing such dialogues. Launched in 2008 with “Traces of Jules Verne” and continuing with “In the footsteps of Piri Reis,” the adventure completed its third phase with “In the footsteps of Evliya Çelebi.”

At a press conference held over the weekend to launch the festival, Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency head Yilmaz Kurt said Istanbul had the chance to be widely known on a large scale under the title of European Capital of Culture in all aspects and that the concerts, which will continue until Dec. 17, would convey the cultural aspects of the city on the musical stage.

[HH] ‘Sounds of Mediterranean’ at opening concert

The first concert of the World Music Festival will take place at the Istanbul Congress Center on Friday night as Maria del Mar Bonet of Spain and Savina Yannatou of Greece take the stage to convey the enthusiasm, sorrow and melodies of the Mediterranean.

Burhan Öçal, a world-famous percussion master, and Alexey Botvinov, an extraordinary pianist, will perform together for the first time Saturday at the same venue for their interpretations of Bach’s magnificent Goldberg Variations.

[HH] Balkan Winds since Evliya Çelebi

The third concert of the festival will take place Dec. 10, injecting a Balkan air into Istanbul. The concert at the Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center will present some of the most colorful artists of the Balkans as Kosovar Suzan Kardeş and the Bekriya Band share the same stage.

“The queen of the gypsies,” Esma from Macedonia, as well as the Koçani and Family Orchestra, which have appeared in some of Emir Kusturica’s most immortal films, Sevdah Reunion from Mostar andBulgarian clarinet master Ivo Papazov will also appear on stage for the Balkan-infused show.

The last concert of the festival will gather artists from three cities. Kalman Balogh with the Gipsy Band from Hungary, Henning Schmidt from Germany and Zülfü Livaneli from Turkey will present a special repertoire comprised of music from three great cultures on Dec. 17 at the Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center.

Music notes from Schmidt’s piano will mix with tunes from the bells of Balogh and the Gipsy Band, while legendary writer and musician Livaneli provides the vocals.

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