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Guide to the Istanbul Music Festival

You can find here all the information about the Istanbul Music Festival, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts: the most recent reviews and preview of past editions of the festival too.

May 23 – June 12, 2018

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

The 46th edition of the festival will again be a star-studded spectacle with leading international orchestras and soloists, including the Filarmonica della Scala, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, English Chamber Orchestra, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Joyce DiDonato, Diana Damrau, Mischa Maisky, Daniil Trifonov, and Renaud Capuçon. The Turkey première of the festival's co-commission to Dobrinka Tabakova, world première of the festival's multidisciplinary co-production "On the Road", and the festival's specially tailored projects, Festival Encounter, Music Route, and Melodies of Istanbul among others will present music lovers opportunities to enjoy unprecedented musical experiences.

Centring on the theme of “Family Bonds” this year, the festival will showcase a number of musician families, including Mischa Maisky and his children Lily and Sascha Maisky, Diana Damrau-Nicolas Testé couple, twin sisters Güher & Süher Pekinel and Ferhan & Ferzan Önder, and sisters Baiba and Lauma Skride, just to name a few. The theme will receive further focus in a series of pre-concert talks that will discuss Wittgenstein’s philosophy as well as the multifaceted relation between music and family.


For full information, visit the Istanbul Music Festival website.

Upcoming eventsSee more...

IstanbulOpening Concert

Opening Concert
Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky
Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra; Sascha Goetzel; Yekwon Sunwoo

IstanbulTekfen Philharmonic Orchestra & Charlie Siem

Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra & Charlie Siem
Rachmaninov, Brahms
Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra; Aziz Shokhakimov; Charlie Siem

IstanbulWeekend Classics – I

Weekend Classics – I
Traditional American, Various, Traditional
İklim Tamkan; Senem Demircioglu

“Unusual": the 45th Istanbul Music Festival

The Grand Bazaar
Now in its 45th year, the Istanbul Music Festival embraces and celebrates an extraordinary city, bringing together Turkey’s musical heritage with music from around the world.

Preview: “If music be the food of love” - in Istanbul

The Istanbul Music Festival marks 400 years since the Bard’s death in its 2016 season. Ten works inspired by Shakespeare are scattered across the month of June, performed by a variety of ensembles.

Istanbul International Music Festival 2016

Hagia Eirene
The ancient metropolis provides a superabundance of historical sites for possible performance venues even if there is not yet a particular dedicated concert hall. This year’s festival starred Murray Perahia as well as legendary Turkish pianist Idil Biret.
Latest reviewsSee more...

Glass' Eleventh given Turkish première

Sascha Goetzel © Istanbul Music Festival
Philip Glass' Eleventh Symphony, given its Turkish première at the Istanbul Music Festival, returns to his signature repetitive style. 
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Cello Octet resounds at the Hagia Eirene

Cello4Berlin and Çellistanbul © Ersin Durmus
Berlin Philharmonic cellists combine with Turkish counterparts for a dazzling performance in Istanbul.
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Brahms and Elgar – Russian Style: Alexander Kniazev in Istanbul

Alexander Kniazev © Istanbul Music Festival
Visiting Russian players offer sophisticated Brahms and sensitive Elgar in Istanbul.
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Spirit of the Dance: Ensari and Schuch at the Istanbul Music Festival

Gülru Ensari and Herbert Schuch © Istanbul Music Festival
Waltzes and Turkish folk dances energise spirited piano duet recital
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