Festival to focus on ‘time and transformation’
Istanbul Music Festival, which is designed to contribute to the contemporary music repertoire with its commissions, hosts various Turkey and world premieres.The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV)’s annual music festival, one of the premier events on the city’s cultural calendar, is gearing up to enter its fifth decade with performances by around 500 artists later this year.
The 41st Istanbul Music Festival, which is organized under the sponsorship of Borusan Holding, will be held between June 4 and 29 around the theme “Time and Transformation.”
Up to 500 local and foreign artists, including Vadim Repin, Maxim Vengerov, Shlomo Mintz, Mario Joao Pires, Khatia Buniatishvili, Magdelena Kozena, Kim Kashkashian, Sol Gabetta and two of world’s leading orchestras, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the Munich Chamber Orchestra, are all expected to ring in summer with concerts in Istanbul.
Performances of the festival
A total of 22 performances, including orchestral concerts, chamber music, recitals, and original programs, will take place as part of the event, which aims to embrace the city and welcome audiences in different venues. In a festival first, performances will be staged at the Surp Vortvots Vorodman Church, while concerts will also return to the Hagia Eirene Museum, the Süreyya Opera House, the Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center, the Galata Mevlevi House Museum, the Galata Rum Elementary School, Istanbul Modern, and the İş Sanat Cultural Center.
The festival, which is designed to contribute to the contemporary music repertoire with its commissions, will host various Turkey and world premieres. The world premiere of “Nasreddin Hodja,” which was composed by Kamran İnce, will be performed by the Berlin Counterpoint Ensemble. The Turkey premiere of the Cello Concerto, co-commissioned with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Amsterdam Cello Biennale and Toronto Symphony Orchestra, will meanwhile be performed by Gabetta.
The event also offers special projects for young musicians. The project “Istanbul Music Festival in Search of Its Young Soloist,” which started last year in order to discover and encourage young talents throughout the country, will continue this year on the cello.
Noting that there was a new collaboration for promotion and announcement posters for Istanbul festivals, İKSV Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı said: “Patterns, lines, and handwritings of the foremost representatives of different branches of art will turn into festival posters with the designs of graphic designer and İKSV Corporate Identity Advisor Bülent Erkmen. You can see the fingerprint and handwriting of Sarkis, one of the foremost contemporary artists, on the 41st Istanbul Music Festival poster.” “These collaborations benefitting from the inspiring power of interdisciplinarity will continue in 2013 for the film and jazz festivals and in the future with the participation of various artists,” Eczacıbaşı said at a Jan. 30 press meeting to announce the festival’s program. “As Borusan, we consider raising the education and cultural level of our society, and holding the responsibility to build a modern society, as our corporate values,” said Zeynep Hamedi, a Borusan Holding member of the board of directors and Borusan Culture and Arts chair of the board of directors.
Theme of the festival
The festival will feature works and concerts centered on the theme of “Time and Transformation.” The Munich Chamber Orchestra, considered one of the best exhibitors of German polyphonic music, will perform one of Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki’s works, as well as Haydn’s Symphony No:45 “Farewell,” which ties in with the festival’s theme. The orchestra will also be accompanied by Buniatishvili, one of the most impressive pianists of the young generation, who has won multiple awards.
Meanwhile, Jordi Saval, who was awarded with a lifetime achievement award at the 2008 Istanbul Music Festival, will present his new project, “The Cycles of Life,” which focuses on the upcoming festival’s theme, on June 11 at the Hagia Eirene Museum. The concert, which will include songs, celebrations and requiems on different phases of life, is built on the rich musical and oral mosaic of the Balkans. Piano duo Ufuk and Bahar Dördüncü will perform suites and waltzes from Rachmaninov and Ravel on June 7 at Istanbul Modern. Piano Trio Forte, which was formed by musicians that united their talents thanks to a shared passion for chamber music, will perform works focusing on changes resulted from time on June 22.
Trawling through festival history
Istanbul Music Festival Director Yeşim Gürer Oymak also commented on the theme of this year’s festival while speaking at the press conference. “Last year, we conducted a very detailed archival search for celebrations of the 40th year of İKSV and the music festival. Festival programs during the first years were very different from today’s programs in terms of content,” she said.“We now have a festival program in which we bring different artists together, premiere projects and commissions specific to our festival alone and open more places to young musicians that are more adventurous and open to new ideas.
Opening concert of the festival
The 41st Istanbul Music will begin June 4 with an opening ceremony ahead of a concert to be held at the Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center. The winner of the seventh International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, 16-year-old violinist Veriko Chumburidze, will perform the “Carmen Fantasy” by Franz Waxman along with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Sascha Goetzel. The orchestra in residence at the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, will also perform “Symphonie Fantastique” by Hector Berlioz.