Looking forward to the Istanbul Music Festival

Looking forward to the Istanbul Music Festival

Istanbul hosts famous singers and groups singing in various genres in winter. However, we do not experience the same richness in classical music.

The Istanbul Music Festival will be held from May 23 to June 12 this year.

I have been following the festival since its beginning. Those who saw it 46 years ago would understand its importance. I do not even want to recall the lonesome summer days.

Of course, I would like to remember those who have brought this festival to this day, some of whom are not with us anymore.

They include Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı, Şakir Eczacıbaşı, and Bülent Eczacıbaşı, who now continue the tradition. We should not forget Aydın Gün, who was the director of the festival for a while. There is even a competition dedicated to him.

I have two criteria when I assess the schedules of festivals: The first one is what I generally listen to and the second one is the names and groups I see in classical music magazines.

The festival has a theme every year. This year, it’s “family ties.”

Only out of coincidence, I wrote about musician families months ago.

As part of the festival, we will hear melodies from various places in Istanbul.

From Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center, Hagia Irene Museum, Babylon, Boğaziçi University, İş Sanat Concert Hall, the Grand Bazaar Kalpakçılar Street, Süreyya Opera House, Sirkeci Railway Station, St. Antuan Church, the garden of the Austria Culture Office, Rahmi M. Koç Museum, Galata and Karaköy.

Let’s see what I have chosen in the program.

Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra led by Vienna-born Sascha Goetzel will accompany Yakwon Sunwood, who was the winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, an important competition.

Daniel Harding, who will lead the Filarmonica della Scala, is also one of my favorite conductors. A Mozart evening with Daniel Harding was great. He will accompany Daniil Trifonov, a successful piano soloist whom I saw on covers of almost all music magazines this year.

Two successful and famous soloists, pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and violinist Renaud Capuçon, are also among my choices. We will also listen to Joyce DiDonato’s “In War and Peace” in a well-known project. Previously, we listened to him in Istanbul in a concert held to commemorate Sevgi Gönül.

Famous cellist Mischa Maisky and Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra should also be on the list.

Of course, I will also listen to the Melodies of Istanbul at the Grand Bazaar on Kalpakçılar Street, so that the history of Istanbul’s sounds will resonate in my ears.

I am sure when I listen to Songs of Istanbul at Sirkeci Station, it will revive my memories about the station. Meral Azizoğlu will sing and the Gypsy Fire Ensemble will accompany her.

I also recommend you not to miss soprano Diana Damrau. She was one of the most praised soloists last year. Nicolas Testé, who is a bass-baritone, will accompany her in the concert titled “Verdissimo.”

Amsterdam Sinfonietta and the sisters Ferhan & Ferzan Önder are also among my favorites.

I would recommend putting Gülsin Onay on our list as well.

Legendary pianists Güher & Süher Pekinel will be accompanied by the English Chamber Orchestra, led by Gerard Schwarz.

The Women Stars of Tomorrow will also be interesting.

Don’t miss the music festival, which brings the best, most liked, and most praised soloists and groups together!