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Guide to the Istanbul Music Festival

6 - 24 June 2022, Istanbul, Turkey
About the 2022 festival

Istanbul Music Festival dedicates its programme to the city of Istanbul in its 50th year.

The Istanbul Music Festival has been vital to the cultural memory of the city for the past 50 years. In this benchmark year of celebration, the festival dedicates itself to Istanbul, this magnificent and unique city that has been home to many cultures throughout its complex history and inspired many artists. The festival offers special projects and repertoires in its 50th programme that will mirror the polyphonic, multilingual and multicultural aspects of Istanbul, and remind past festivals at times. The festival will bring together esteemed orchestras, star soloists and ensembles from Turkey and the world in many different venues that range from the distinguished concert halls of Istanbul to the historical and cultural sites that have been the scene of the festival for half a century. The festival will also invite all Istanbulites to admission-free events at breath-taking public venues of the city.

The Festival hosts local and internationally renowned soloists, ensembles, orchestras, and choirs presenting both baroque / classical as well as contemporary and traditional music repertoire. Each year, the Festival builds its programme around a theme since 2011. Interdisciplinary projects are also featured in the festival programme. 

The Istanbul Music Festival supports the young and emerging musicians creating a platform where they can be heard by the classical music audience of Turkey. The Festival encourages the international career and education of young women musicians since 2018 with it’s women empowerment project : The Women Stars of Tomorrow.

Where is it?

The most established classical music event in Turkey, the Istanbul Music Festival is internationally renowned for its creative programmes and for its contribution in enriching the classical music repertoire by commissions. The festival spreads across the magnificent city of Istanbul, with events at historical sites, concert halls and free concerts in parks and gardens. 

How to get there?

By plane: Istanbul International Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport

The festival takes place in various concert halls, historical and unconventional venues in Istanbul. Public transport and Havabus/Havaist busses can be used to reach the venuew.

Venues

The festival spreads across the city with events at historical sites, churches, cultural venues alongside concert halls, as well as free concerts at parks and gardens.

Dress code

The Festival does not have a specific dress code. As the festival is held in June, the weather is usually warm. For the open air venues, we would like to remind the audience to wear clothes suitable for the outdoors, as the weather can be cool in the evening.

Local accommodation

There are various accommodation possibilities such as hotels, hostels, Airbnb houses, etc. In order to be closer to the festival venues, the options in and around the centre are recommended.

What can tourists visit nearby?

There are many historical places and museums such as Topkapı Palace, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia Mosque and Blue Mosque, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Pera Museum, Arter Museum among many others.

Food & drink

Istanbul offers an incredible variety of cafes, bars and restraurants all over the city. Since the concerts are held in various venues, the attendees tend to explore the city for food and drinks. The restaurants mostly close late at night.

Looking back