Istanbul Music Festival announces program
The Istanbul Music Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), announced its program at a press meeting on Feb. 5. The festival, to be held from June 11 to 30, will present a program built around this year’s theme “Darkness of Being, Lightness of Being,” which focuses on the dualities in life such as good-bad, happiness-sadness, birth-death, and their impact on music and its creation process. The festival aims to emphasize the importance of music as a means to enlightenment in times of darkness.
This year, the opening concert of the festival will feature the young pianist Seong-Jin Cho, winner of the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, who will be accompanied by the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra. The opening ceremony and concert will take place at the Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center.
Also, the festival’s Honorary Award will be presented to the conductor Professor Rengim Gökmen, who is the music director of the Presidential State Symphony Orchestra and founder/principal conductor of the Doğuş Children’s Symphony Orchestra.
The Lifetime Achievement Award of the festival will be presented to Yuri Bashmet, who was described by The Times as “without doubt, one of the world’s greatest living musicians.”
Bashmet is the artistic director of the December Nights Festival, Moscow, principal conductor of the Novaya Rossiya State Symphony Orchestra, and founder/director of Moscow Soloists.
Bashmet and Moscow Soloists will premiere 3/7/12, a co-commissioned work with Sochi Festival to the composer Alexander Tchaikovsky, at a special concert on June 20 at this year’s festival.
This year the festival continues to support contemporary music with two commissions and hosts their world premieres. The commission to the Turkish composer Zeynep Gedizlioğlu funded by Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation will be performed by the piano duo Ufuk and Bahar Dördüncü on June 14 at Süreyya Opera House.
Music route in historical Samatya
Organized for the fourth time in the festival, the Music Route will take listeners on a musical journey where one can explore the neighborhood Samatya, one of the most multicultural neighborhoods of Istanbul.
Originally a fishing village, Samatya is a historical district where Turks, Greeks, Armenians and Jews live together to this day. The Music Route will take place on June 16, accompanied by professional guides giving information about Samatya’s past and present.
Celebrated for her charismatic artistry and captivating stage presence, the Beijing-born pianist Yuja Wang will offer music enthusiasts an unforgettable evening at the Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center on June 15 with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Gimeno.
The Weekend Classics concerts will be held at the Garden of Austrian Cultural Forum and Galata Tower Square this year. Presenting a collection of the Renaissance-era music from England and France, the concerts of the Weekend Classics will be held on June 15 and 29. The festival’s concert series where stars of the classical music meet with the audience, Chamber Music with Stars will present two special concerts this year. As the world is already getting ready for the 2020 Beethoven Year, the festival will feature the great composer in its programmes. The distinguished Beethoven interpreters Faust, Queyras, and Melnikov will perform together at the first concert of Chamber Music with the Stars at İş Sanat Concert Hall June 16.
The second concert will present two of the greatest Russian musicians of our time: Alexander Kniazev and Boris Berezovsky, who will salute Strauss, Shostakovich and Rachmaninov at the concert and be held at İş Sanat Concert Hall on June 18.
A multi-dimensional music experience ‘Human Requiem’
Rundfunkchor Berlin turns Brahms’ German Requiem into an unconventional experience, where the division between stage and audience is torn down and music is up-close and personal. In this performance, the audience is in the middle of music, with a whole new set of relationships between text, people, space and sound, moving with music and becoming a part of it. Ever since its premiere in February 2012, Human Requiem has been making its way triumphantly around the globe, with stops in New York, Hong Kong, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Athens and Granada and the staging of Jochen Sandig, abolishing the traditional concert experience.
Three-time Grammy winners Rundfunkchor Berlin will perform 60 concerts and international tours in the season. The repertory full of warm and rich nuances and its absolute accuracy and unmistakable ability to try new things for 94 years make the choir many international orchestras’ and conductors’ choice. Rundfunkchor Berlin is also the permanent partner of the Berliner Philharmoniker as well as Berlin’s Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester.
Human Requiem, which refers to the theme of the festival “Darkness of Being, Lightness of Being,” will be performed on June 28 and 29 at Zorlu PSM.
Fazıl Say, who has continuously impressed listeners and critics all over the world for more than 25 years, will perform at the closing concert of the festival with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Liang Zhang.
The event will host music lovers in 15 venues in Istanbul such as the Hagia Eirene Museum, Boğaziçi University Albert Long Hall, İş Sanat Concert Hall, Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre, Rahmi M. Koç Museum, Süreyya Opera House, Zorlu PSM, Grand Bazaar and Neve Shalom Synagogue.
Festival tickets will go on sale on Feb. 16.