The 44th Istanbul Music Festival, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) under the sponsorship of E.C.A. Presdöküm Sanayii A.Ş., kicked off on Wednesday, 1 June with the opening ceremony and concert at the Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The festival will present music lovers with an impressive programme built around this year’s theme inspired by Shakespeare’s verse, “If Music be the Food of Love, Play On”. Hosting close to 600 local and international artists, two world premieres and one Turkey premiere, this year’s festival will feature 26 concerts, comprising symphony and chamber orchestras, recitals, and special projects.
The 44th Istanbul Music Festival’s Honorary Award was presented to composer İlhan Baran, for his contributions to the standing of Turkish music, both in the country and in the world, through his compositions and his work in education. Baran’s students have included Fazıl Say, Muhiddin Dürrüoğlu-Demiriz, Yeşim Alkaya, Burçin Büke, Oya Ünler, and Ayşe Deniz Gökçin and his compositions for piano have become part of the core conservatory curriculum. İlhan Baran’s award was presented on his behalf to the Principal Conductor of Presidential Symphony Orchestra Rengim Gökmen, by Bülent Eczacıbaşı.
The festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Murray Perahia, one of the legendary pianists of our time. Having performed in the world’s leading concert halls and festivals, recorded countless albums, and received multiple Gramophone awards, as well as two Grammy’s, Perahia will receive his award preceding his concert at the Hagia Eirene Museum on Monday, 6 June, with one of the most esteemed orchestras in the world, Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
Following the ceremony, the 44th Istanbul Music Festival began with a concert by Dmitry Masleev, the winner of 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, accompanied by the festival’s resident orchestra, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, under the conductorship of Sacha Goetzel.
Masleev will make the Turkey debut of his rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 (Op.23). In addition to Tchaikovsky, Masleev will give a nod to this year’s festival theme, “If Music be the Food of Love, Play On” with Shostakovich’s most successfully viewed film score, the Hamlet Suite, to commemorate the great bard on the 400th year of his passing.
For detailed information: muzik.iksv.org/en
Photo credit: Ali Guler