Istanbul Music Festival kicks off

Istanbul Music Festival kicks off

Istanbul Music Festival kicks off

The 46th Istanbul Music Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) opened on May 23 with an opening ceremony and concert at the Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center. 

The festival is organized around the theme of “Family Bonds” in tribute to generations of music lovers brought together under the festival’s roof over the course of 45 years. The event will host close to 500 artists with 25 concerts in 17 venues, 19 events before the concerts, and workshops until June 12. 

“This year’s program, as in previous years, features leading soloists and orchestras from Turkey and around the world, premieres of new works, interdisciplinary concerts, talks and free events for music lovers of every age. The 46th Istanbul Music Festival program is shaped by its theme, Family Bonds. We, too, are very fortunate to have an extended family of generous individuals and institutions that are united by their love of culture and the arts. It is this family that inspires us and makes our festival possible,” İKSV Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı said in the opening speech. 

The 46th Istanbul Music Festival’s Honorary Award was presented to the opera director, soloist and dramaturgist, Yekta Kara. Kara’s award was presented by Eczacıbaşı. 

Kara worked at the Ankara State Opera and Ballet between 1978 and 1980, directing performances for the first time. After 1980, Kara has served as a soloist, stage manager, general director and chief dramaturgy at the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet for 35 years. She was the Head Opera Director of the General Directorate of the State Opera and Ballet between 1992 and 2000 and the Artistic Director of the International Istanbul Opera Festival between 2010 and 2015. 

In addition to her career in Turkey, she has also worked as a guest director in Germany, France, Austria, the United States, Mexico, South Korea, and Bulgaria. She has also been teaching at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory since 1983. 

The festival opened on May 23 with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert, featuring the Gold Medal recipient of the 2017 XV. Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Yekwon Sunwoo, under the conductorship of Sascha Goetzel. 

First week at the festival

One of today’s foremost young violinists with a wide-ranging diversity of cross-cultural appeal, Charlie Siem joins the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra, known as “The Sound of Three Seas,” in a concert on May 24 at the Hagia Eirene Museum. 

This weekend, the first of this year’s Weekend Classics will present a colorful program ranging from Baroque arias to Turkish folk songs. The concert will be held at Babylon on May 26. 

On May 27, Grammy award-winner Daniil Trifonov will return to the festival with the Filarmonica della Scala and Daniel Harding for a concert at the Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center. 

This year’s festival also launches a new project supporting young women musicians, with pianist İdil Biret the special guest at the Boğaziçi University Albert Long Hall on May 28. 

Meanwhile, Renaud Capuçon’s violin will team up with the piano of Khatia Buniatishvili for a program of Romantic sonatas for violin and piano at İş Sanat Concert Hall on May 29.