The 42nd Istanbul Music Festival began on Sunday, 1 June evening with an Award Ceremony and Opening Concert held at the Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center.
This year’s festival is bringing nearly 800 musicians of international renown to Istanbul, while also hosting two world premieres.
Until the 27th of June, the 42nd Istanbul Music Festival hosts nearly 800 international artists in Istanbul, including Steven Isserlis, Isabelle van Keulen, Alexander Raskatov, Nelson Freire, Pepe Romero, Krzysztof Penderecki, Xavier de Maistre, Yuja Wang, as well as some of the world's leading orchestras such as the Sinfonia Varsovia and the Venezuela Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra.
Istanbul Music Festival's annual “Honorary Award” conferred on artists for their valuable contribution in the world of classical music, was given this year to Gülsin Onay, who enjoys an international career with the leading orchestras and conductors of the world and who has played a major role in introducing Ahmed Adnan Saygun's music to the world.
The soloist of the opening concert that followed was the young cellist Dorukhan Doruk, who was named the “Young Musician of the Year” at the 2011 Donizetti Classical Music Awards and won the first prize along with five other awards at the International Antonio Janigro Cello Competition, He played Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op.33, accompanied the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by conductor Gürer Aykal. The opening concert honoured the festival theme "The Song of Nature" with Ahmet Adnan Saygun's A Forest Tale, Op.17. The orchestra also performed Mendelssohn's Symphony No.3 in A minor, "Scottish", Op.56.