Istanbul Music Fest starts without opening concert
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Cansın Kara will perform within the scope of the ‘Festival Presents Its Young Soloists.’The 41st Istanbul Music Festival is back again for another year of music in Turkey’s biggest city, although tonight’s opening event at the Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center has been canceled amid the continue clashes in Istanbul and around Turkey over the proposed demolition of Taksim Gezi Park.
“We feel very sorry about the incidents that broke out in Taksim’s Gezi Park and developed. In such a period, during which social sensibility is very high, we don’t find it right to hold the 41st Istanbul Music Festival opening events and this is why we have canceled the opening ceremony and postponed the opening concert to a future date. The other concerts will continue as they were planned,” said IKSV in a written statement.
The festival, which is being organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, will be held until June 29, centered on the theme of “Time and Transformation.”
On June 5, Turkish Music Ensemble and leading soloists Ahmet Özhan, Münip Utandı, and the Archon Protopsaltes of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Leonidas Asteris will perform the first concert of the festival at the Galata Mevlevihane, the oldest lodge of the Mevlevi order in Istanbul.
This year the festival will host approximately 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, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Munich Chamber Orchestra.
Twenty-two concerts including orchestral concerts, chamber music, recitals, and original programs will take place within the scope of the festival. The festival venues will include the Surp Vortvots Vorodman Church for the first time this year, along with the Hagia Eirene Museum, Süreyya Opera House, Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center, Galata Mevlevi House Museum, Galata Rum Elementary School, Istanbul Modern, and İş Sanat Cultural Center.
The festival will also host various Turkish and world premieres. The world premiere of “Nasreddin Hodja” commissioned to the esteemed composer Kamran İnce by the festival will be performed by the Berlin Counterpoint Ensemble. The Turkey premiere of Cello Concerto, co-commissioned with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Amsterdam Cello Biennale and Toronto Symphony Orchestra, will be performed by Sol Gabetta.
The festival also has special projects for young musicians. The project “Istanbul Music Festival in Search of Its Young Soloist” which started last year to discover and encourage young talents throughout the country will continue this year in cello. The project “Open Conservatory” meeting conservatory students with the festival audience will be held on June 9 at the Galata Rum Elementary School.
The Honorary Award of the festival will be presented to Güher and Süher Pekinel for their successful international career as a piano duo, the depth and perfection they acheived in music, as well as their contribution to the spread of polyphonic music in Turkey, and their efforts for the training and improvement of young musicians. The Pekinels will be presented with the award today at the opening ceremony.
The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, one of the most prominent musicians alive. He will be presented with the award on June 17 at Hagia Eirene Museum before the concert of the Munich Chamber Orchestra.
Selections from the festival
The festival will host Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, considered to be one of world’s leading orchestras with its unique musical style on June 14 and 15 at Hagia Eirene Museum. Portuguese pianist Maria Joao Pires will be the soloist of the first concert to be conducted by internationally known Turkish conductor Alpaslan Ertüngealp. In the second concert, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under the baton of James Judd will accompany Vadim Repin who is among the most prominent violin virtuosos in the world.
Versatile artist Cihat Aşkın and Roby Lakatos the so-called “Devil’s Fiddler” will meet in Istanbul within the now classic “Festival Encounter” series. A unique feast of music composing of colorful worlds of Turkish and Gypsy music with interpretations of Aşkın and Lakatos waits for music lovers on June 13 at Hagia Eirene.
Another festival event coming forward is the concert by one of today’s greatest violists Kim Kashkashian and pianist Péter Nagy. The two musicians will perform a colorful range of music from Mozart variations by Beethoven to Armenian composer Komitas, who was born in 1869 in Kütahya. Kashkashian and Nagy will meet the festival audience on June 26 at a new festival venue, Surp Vortvots Vorodman Church.
Violin virtuoso Maxim Vengerov, considered as one of the most prominent representatives of the Russian school, is the guest of the final concert of the festival. Maxim Vengerov was awarded with several prestigious awards including Grammy. Vengerov accompanied by the most important orchestras of the world and recorded the greatest works of the violin repertory. For the Closing Concert, a farewell to the fascinating atmosphere of the Hagia Eirene Museum until the next festival, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sascha Goetzel will accompany Vengerov on June 29.