Istanbul Music Festival announces 40th year porgram
Daniel Müller Schot. This year’s festival theme is ‘Hope and Heroes,’ and the program will present a range of specific works and special concert projects within the scope of these two intertwined themes.The program of the 40th Istanbul Music Festival was announced yesterday in a press conference held at the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul on the Bosphorus, with the participation of İKSV Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı, Borusan Culture and Arts Chair of the Board of Directors Zeynep Hamedi and the Istanbul Music Festival Director Yeşim Gürer Oymak.
The festival is celebrating its 40th year with a special program. Featuring two world and three Turkish premieres, the festival will feature 23 concerts including symphonic and chamber orchestras, vocal concerts and recitals. The festival also hosts side events such as “Istanbul Music Festival in Search of Its Young Soloist,” “Young Masters and Their Heroes” and “Open Conservatory,” which will be held in the Karaköy Greek Primary School.
The Istanbul Music Festival will continue to contribute to contemporary music with commissions of two world-renowned composers. One of the most productive artists of our time, pianist Fazıl Say, and one of most important composers of Georgia, Giya Kancheli, both have world premieres of new works commissioned by the Istanbul Music Festival included in the program.
This year’s festival theme will be “Hope and Heroes,” and its program will present a range of specific works and special concert projects selected within the scope of these two intertwined themes.
[HH] Glorious opening concert
The festival’s opening concert will feature the Turkish State Polyphonic Choir and İKSV’s resident orchestra, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, led by conductor Sascha Goetzel, on May 31. Soloists will be soprano Simge Büyükedes, who takes leading parts in operas around the world, alto Ezgi Kutlu, tenor Cenk Bıyık and bass Burak Bilgili.
Young talents to be supported
In a special evening titled “Women Heroes of Music,” one of Turkey’s leading violists, Cihat Aşkın, and the Istanbul Chamber Orchestra, led by Hakan Şensoy, will perform works of leading female composers from Turkey and the world June 8.
Another special concert will present Hüseyin Sermet, accompanied by Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, on June 16. The concert will feature Ravel’s “Piano Concerto for Left Hand,” written for Paul Wittgenstein, who “never lost his hope” despite losing his right arm during World War I, and Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony “Eroica,” which features “heroism” for its tragedy as much as its victory.
The Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Müller Schott will venture into faraway lands in search of “heroes” on the evening of June 20, performing Strauss’ “Don Quixote,” based both on Cervantes’ famous novel and “A Life of a Hero” in which Strauss depicts himself.
Another concert within the theme will be performed by composer and pianist Fazıl Say, accompanied by the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra lead by Gürer Aykal, in which Say will present Beethoven’s epic piano concerto “The Emperor.”
The festival is launching a project titled “The Istanbul Music Festival is Searching for a Young Soloist,” which will invite young musicians to take part in auditions scheduled for March 21. The selected soloist will perform with The Istanbul University State Conservatory Symphony Orchestra on June 15 under the baton of conductor Ramiz Malik Aslanov. The festival will also host a concert titled “Young Masters and Their Heroes,” presenting accomplished 14-year-old pianists Ece Bozkurt, Iraz Yıldız and Cem Esen, who will play together with the piano virtuosos Gülsin Onay, Hüseyin Sermet and Muhiddin Dürrüoğlu, who were themselves once “child prodigies.”
The concerts will be held in eight venues including the Hagia Irene Museum, which has hosted the festival for its entire 40 years, the Haliç Congress Center, the Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center, the garden of the Netherlands Consulate General, the Süreyya Opera House, Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, the Istanbul University Rectorate Building and the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.