Thousands flock to culture events in Istanbul throughout the year

Thousands flock to culture events in Istanbul throughout the year

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Thousands flock to culture events in Istanbul throughout the year

The cultural events and festivals organized in the first seven months of the year in Istanbul have drawn more than 210,000 members of the public. The cultural life of the city will continue to reviveduring the other half of the year.

The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) has drawn more than 210,000 members of the public for a wide variety of cultural events over the first half of the year.

One of the most attractive culture events of the year, the 32nd Istanbul Film Festival, which was held between March 30 and April 14, attracted 140,000 film lovers at six movie theaters. During the festival, four master classes, three Q&As, two workshops and nine panel discussions as part of “Meetings on the Bridge” were also organized. The residents of the city got their fill of cinema with visits from Costa-Gavras, Peter Weir, Mike Figgis, Carlos Reygadas, and Bille August.

Later, stars including Vadim Repin, Maxim Vengerov, Shlomo Mintz, Mario Joao Pires, Khatia Buniatishvili, Magdelena Kozena, Kim Kashkashian, and Sol Gabetta took the stage in the one of the biggest music event in the city, the 41st Istanbul Music Festival, which ran from June 4 to 29. The festival hosted more than 500 artists in Istanbul and some 20,000 viewers attended the festival at 22 concerts, as well as pre-concert talks and open conservatoire events.

Some 25,000 people also attended the 20th Istanbul Jazz Festival last month. The Lifetime Achievement Awards of this year’s festival were presented to musician and conductor Durul Gence and musician Hasan Kocamaz. The event hosted two prominent names of R&B and soul, Alicia Keys and John Legend.

Special projects

The festival also included symphonic projects, such as the E.S.T. Symphony and Deutsche Philharmonie, as well as prominent Turkish pianist and composer Kerem Görsev.

Organized by UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, the second annual International Jazz Day was celebrated in Istanbul on April 30. For the celebrations of the International Jazz Day concerts, conferences, panel discussions, master classes, jazz workshops, film screenings, and exhibitions took place across the whole city. The events within the International Jazz Day with the participation of Irina Bokava, director-general of UNESCO, and Herbie Hancock, a goodwill ambassador for UNESCO, concluded with the International Jazz Day Concert at the Hagia Eirene Museum. Some 3,500 jazz lovers attended the events and the concerts, as well as the International Jazz Day Concert, which was also streamed live on the Internet.

Dr. Nejat Eczacıbaşı, founder of the Eczacıbaşı Group and the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, was commemorated on the 20th year of his passing with two concerts by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. More than 5,000 people attended the concerts, led by conductor Alan Gilbert on May 3 and 4.

İKSV will continue to offer exciting cultural events in the remaining months of the year. Filmekimi, a fall special, will return this year for a 12th time between Sept. 28 and Oct. 6. Many awarded films of the year, including “Blue is the Warmest Color” by Abdellatif Kechiche, which won the Palme d’Or, will be screened for the first time in Turkey during the event.

The title of the 13th Istanbul Biennial, which will be held from Sept. 14 to Oct. 20, will be “Mom, am I barbarian?” a reference to poet Lale Müldür’s book of the same title. Curated by Fulya Erdemci, the event will include works that question forms of contemporary democracy; challenge current spatio-economic politics; problematize notions of civilization and barbarity, and explore the role of art in this context through innovative and unorthodox languages. Focusing on the theme that public space is a political forum, this year’s biennial will be free of charge.