Istanbul Music Festival available in digital form

Istanbul Music Festival available in digital form

Istanbul Music Festival available in digital form

Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), the 48th Istanbul Music Festival, curated around this year’s theme, “The Enlightened World of Beethoven,” will meet music lovers virtually between Sept. 18 and Oct. 5. 

The festival concerts filmed at historical venues in Istanbul, Ankara and various cities of Europe will be available for streaming on for audiences to enjoy on their screens.

The online festival will kick off with the Opening Concert to be streamed online for free on and İKSV’s YouTube channel on Sept. 18. All concerts from the festival program will be available for audiences both in Turkey and around the world.

Concert tickets will go out for sale at a single ticket price of 20 Turkish Liras. The option to purchase a bundle ticket that is valid for all the concerts for 250 liras is also available. As part of the festival, a new concert will be open to stream every day as of Sept. 18, and the concerts will be accessible for 30 days. Viewers will be able to stream the concerts for seven days after they start watching.

The festival concerts were filmed at historical venues of Istanbul, Ankara and various cities of Europe with ensembles such as the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Akademie, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Kheops Ensemble, Philharmonix, Beethoven Trio Berlin, Borusan Quartet, Semplice Quartet and with soloists like Thomas Hampson, Víkingur Ólafsson, Benjamin Schmid, Anna Tifu, Bülent Evcil, Derya Türkan, Yurdal Tokcan, Gökhan Aybulus, Ezgi Karakaya and Pelin Halkacı Akın.

The concert venues include the Theodosius Cistern, Palace of the Porphyrogenitus, Khedive Palace, Tophane-i Amire Culture and Art Centre, Harbiye Saint Esprit Cathedral, Surp Ohan Vosgeperan Armenian Catholic Church, Süreyya Opera House in Istanbul, and the Abbaye de Stavelot, Wonderfeel Festival Site, Schubertkirche in Belgium, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth

This year’s festival celebrates the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven for the world to witness together. The festival will feature iconic works of the composer, as well as new commissions and projects inspired by his music.

The festival program evokes the essential aspects of the composer’s music, such as the love of nature, love of humanity and innovative and visionary music language. With his bold musical language, Beethoven defied the boundaries of musical genres of his time and set new standards that still influence the music world and manifest in most of the festival performances.

The event opens with the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Aziz Shokhakimov with violinist Emre Engin as the soloist, featuring works by Beethoven, Mozart, Prokofiev, and Bartok. The online concert will be preceded by the opening speech of the IKSV Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı and introductions of this year’s festival award recipients.

The 48th Istanbul Music Festival’s Honorary Award will be presented to musicologist and music writer, Ahmet Say.

Alexander Rudin, one of the leading representatives of the Russian school of music, who is also a cellist, conductor, pianist, harpsichordist, and professor, will be the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He will be presented the award at the next year’s festival. The Aydın Gün Encouragement Award is granted to the 22-year-old violinist Elvin Hoxha Ganiyev in its eighth year.

Istanbul Music Festival commissions new works for local and international composers since 2011 to support contemporary artistic production. This year, the festival enriches the contemporary music repertoire with three new commissions. While one of the works receives its world premiere at the festival this year, the other two commissions will make their premieres at the next edition of the festival in 2021.

The commission to the Turkish composer Turgay Erdener entitled Nonet Pastoral “alla turca,” interweaves Beethoven’s Pastoral with themes from Ottoman composers, and it is part of the Beethoven Pastoral Project run within the scope of BTHVN2020. Erdener’s work will receive its world premiere online on Sept. 27 with the master musicians Derya Türkan, Yurdal Tokcan, Serkan Mesut Halili, Aykut Köselerli, Kağan Yıldız and Semplice Quartet.

The other work, “Toprak Sever İnsanları Birer Birer” (Earth Loves People One by One) by Hasan Uçarsu, is a co-commission with Tekfen Foundation. Inspired by the poems of the Turkish poet Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca, Uçarsu’s new work alludes to the universal values Beethoven represents both in-person and in his music.

Co-commissioned by the Istanbul Music Festival, Philharmonie Essen, Autumn Chamber Music Festival Riga and Wigmore Hall with the support of the President of the Hoffmann Foundation André Hoffmann, Peteris Vasks’ new work, String Quartet No. 6, is based on the 3rd movement of Beethoven’s op. 132, “Heiliger Dankgesang” (Holy Song of Thanksgiving).

The world premiere of “Earth Loves People One by One” and the Turkey premiere of “String Quartet No. 6” will be given at next year’s festival.

Tickets for the 48th Istanbul Music Festival will be on sale on with a standard price of 20 Turkish Liras as of Sept. 4. The audiences will also be able to purchase a bundle ticket that is valid for all the concerts for 250 liras.