Music Festival to present ‘unusual’ program
ISTANBULThe Istanbul Music Festival is returning for a 45th time this year, with a program centered on the theme of “unusual” between May 29 and June 21.
The festival’s program was announced at a press meeting on Feb. 15. The event will host over 600 local and international artists, including some of the world’s leading ensembles such as the Russian Chamber Philharmonic St. Petersburg, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra and Ebene Quartet, remarkable soloists like Hüseyin Sermet, Fazıl Say, Alina Pogostkina and Mathias Goerne, as well as young generation artists at 15 venues in Istanbul.
In its second year, the Music Route portion invites the festival audience to explore the hidden beauties of Yeniköy. Music Route will feature close to 20 artists and will take place in two sessions on June 3, the first weekend of the festival.
The event will take the audience on a musical journey through historical venues of Yeniköy including the Küd Dipo Surp Asdvadzadzin Armenian Church, which was built in 1760 and is still active; the Sait Halim Pasha Mansion with its elegant 19th century architecture; the Aya Yorgi Greek Orthodox Church, which was reopened in 2010 after many years; the Yeniköy Panayia Greek Orthodox Church, as well as the Austrian Culture Forum, which was built in the mid-19th century.
Some of the best examples of Sufi music will resonate in the 555-year-old streets of the Grand Bazaar this year. Founded by harpist Şirin Pancaroğlu, and reader and composer Bora Uymaz, the Şimdi Ensemble will present hymn examples from the past and present at the concert “Eternal Love” on June 4. The project’s guest artist from France, Michel Godard, will be included in the ensemble with a serpent, a religious music instrument from the Middle Ages, and a tuba.
“Rosery,” a tribute to the cultural heritage that dates back many centuries between Iran and the Ottoman Empire, brings a contemporary interpretation to the traditional musical styles that were nourished by the interaction of the two countries.
Emphasizing the tradition of fasıl and presented in the form of a large suite, “Rosery” will rise to the heights of the Garden of Galata Mawlawi House with its historical and spiritual touch on June 2. The performance will present a repertoire consisting of compositions by Kayhan Kalhor, Derya Turkan and Sokratis Sinopoulos.
Classical music lovers of all ages are invited to the free concerts that will be held on weekends at the Garden of the Austrian Culture Forum on June 4 and bomontiada on June 10.
At a separate event that will be held free of charge with the support of bomontiada, unusual bassoonist and passionate electro-acoustical composer Burak Özdemir and his ensemble Musica Sequenza will offer a unique musical experience on June 17. The ensemble will interpret Handel’s operatic arias in today’s musical forms.
Festival commission to Philip Glass
The Istanbul Music Festival has been giving commissions to local and international composers to contribute to the expansion of contemporary music repertoire and artistic production since 2011. This year, it continued these efforts by taking part in a joint commission to one of the most famous classical music composers alive, Philip Glass. The Turkey premiere of Philip Glass’ latest work, the “11th Symphony,” will be held as part of the 45th Istanbul Music Festival at the Hagia Eirene Museum. The symphony will be performed by the festival’s resident orchestra, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Sascha Goetzel on June 16.
Prior to the concert, Glass will be presented with the 45th Istanbul Music Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony that will take place before the opening concert. Glass, who is unable to attend the ceremony, will deliver his prize speech with a special video.
Also, the festival’s honorary award will be presented to music critic and lecturer Evin İlyasoğlu at the opening ceremony.
Young star to open the festival
The 45th Istanbul Music Festival will start with the opening ceremony and concert to be held at the Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center on May 29. The festival’s opening concert will present an extraordinary young soloist.
The Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Goetzel, will be accompanied by Andrei Ioniţă, a 23-year-old young cellist who won the first prize in the cello section of the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition.
Fazıl Say, who has impressed listeners and critics all over the world for more than 25 years and was recently awarded the prestigious Beethoven Prize, will be the festival’s guest with two concerts. One of the most important artists of the 21st century, Say will perform the preludes for Debussy and Ulvi Cemal Erkin, the nocturnes of Chopin and a sonata of the Ahmed Adnan Saygun Center on June 15.
Say will also close the festival on June 21 alongside the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. He will play Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12, while the Vienna Chamber Orchestra will play works by Beethoven and Mendelssohn under the direction of Ola Rudner.
A selection from ‘Unusual’ concerts
Innovatively, “The Sound of Colors: Kandinsky and Chagall” concert invites the festival audience to see music and hear pictures. The concert, in which the lines move and the notes wrap themselves up in colors, will be staged on May 31 at the İş Sanat Concert Hall.
Mikhail Rudy, one of the world’s greatest 20 pianists according to BBC Music magazine, will use a new video application to revive Mussorgksy’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” which Kandinsky put on stage in 1928 with a composition of color, light, geometric shapes and plastic materials.
The project will be followed by another of Rudy’s projects called “The Sound of Colors” in which he will present a visual and auditory feast with an animation of Garnier Opera’s ceiling painting sketches made by Chagall.
Soqquadro Italiano will be at Zorlu PSM on June 5 with La Stravaganza, their new project dedicated to Vivaldi’s music, accompanied by visuals from Venice to Rome and from Naples to Milan.
Geneva Camerata (GECA), composed of young virtuoso musicians who got together with the love of discovering musical borders and conductor David Greilsammer, join forces with the innovative and adventurous pianist Yaron Herman at the concert titled “From Mozart to Ellington.”
With its music ranging from baroque to classical period, from contemporary music to jazz, “From Mozart to Ellington” will be at the Hagia Eirene Museum on June 12.
Another extraordinary experience from the festival brings the circus show and Shostakovich together. For the Opus 2 project, Debussy Quartet comes together with Circa Ensemble, which looks at circus art from a different viewpoint on June 20 at Zorlu PSM.
Festival tickets will go on sale on Feb. 25.