Countdown starts for International İzmir Festival

Countdown starts for International İzmir Festival

Countdown starts for International İzmir Festival Art lovers in Turkey’s gateway to the Aegean will have the opportunity to enjoy more than a month of concerts come June thanks to the 31st International İzmir Festival.

A total of 218 artists who will take part in the festival will meet art lovers at the Ahmet Adnan Saygun Arts Center (AASSM), İzmir State Theater Konak Stage, Çeşme Castle and the Ephesus Ancient Theater between June 1 and July 4. 

Organized by the İzmir Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSEV), the festival will present 10 concerts, two of which will be free to the public. 

In the opening of the festival, the Yunus Emre Oratorio will be performed by the İzmir State Opera and Ballet Orchestra and Choir under the direction of Aytuğ Ülgen on June 1 at AASSM. 

Turkey’s first oratorio, composed by Ahmed Adan Saygun in 1942 based on the poetry of Yunus Emre, will be performed by soprano Mehlika Karadeniz Bilgin, mezzosoprano Ferda Yetişer, tenor Devrim Demirel and bassist Engin Suna. 

On June 20, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, which was founded in 1946, will accompany Turkey’s internationally acclaimed pianist and composer Fazıl Say at a concert on June 20 at the ancient theater of Ephesus. Under the baton of conductor Ola Rudner, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and Say will stage a program including Beethoven’s “Coriolon” overture, Mozart’s No. 12 La Major piano concert and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s No: 4 “Italian” symphony. 

Dance show 

The 31st International İzmir Festival will also host one of the most important schools in contemporary dance, the Dani Pannullo Dance Theater, on June 5 at AASSM. The theater troupe will also organize a workshop for young dancers. 

Alti & Bassi, an acapella group formed in Milan in 1994, will be the guest of the festival on June 9 at the Çeşme Castle. 

With only their own voices and five microphones, Alti & Bassi create their melodies without using any musical instruments but often imitating some of them like drums, bass guitar, horns and guitars.

Legendary virtuoso Nigel Kennedy, who entered the book of Guinness World Records as the best-selling classical violinist of all time, will bring rock and classical music lovers together at the festival with his project “Nigel Kennedy Plays Hendrix,” in which he realizes his youth dreams. 

Kennedy, whose performances range from classical interpretations to collaborations with Stéphane Grappelli, Kate Bush, Robert Plant and Paul McCartney, adds immortality to the immortal compositions of Jimi Hendrix. He will be on stage on June 15 at AASSM. 

The Çeşme Castle will also host Giora Feidman on June 29. Feidman, who identifies himself as a servant who “nourishes the spirit of mankind,” will be accompanied by the Gershwin Quartet. 

Poland’s versatile pianist Pawel Kowalski will take the stage on 22 at AASSM. 

The closing performance of the festival on July 4 will be given by L’Orchestre de Contrebasses, made up of six contrabass virtuosi, including composers and performers.