Istanbul Music Festival 2017 to host over 600 local and international artists

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

istanbul music fest2017Istanbul Music Festival, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) under the sponsorship of E.C.A. Presdöküm Sanayii A.Ş., celebrates its 45th year. The festival’s programme was announced at a press meeting on Wednesday, 15 February at The Marmara Pera Hotel, the Official Hotel Sponsor of İKSV.

The 45th Istanbul Music Festival will host over 600 local and international artists, including some of the world’s leading ensembles such as Russian Chamber Philarmonic St. Petersburg, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra and Ebene Quartet, remarkable soloists like Hüseyin Sermet, Fazıl Say, Alina Pogostkina and Mathias Goerne, as well as young generation artists at 15 venues in Istanbul.

In its 45th year, the festival will bring a fresh breath to classical music with its creative, evocative, multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted projects on its programme. Concerts that allow interdisciplinary transitions, commissions and premieres will offer unusual experiences to audiences of all ages.

This year, the Istanbul Music Festival stands out with its venue choices that relate with the concert themes. The festival will take place across 15 different venues, 8 of which will be used for the first time.

Some new venues such as the Aya Yorgi Greek Orthodox Church, bomontiada, Garden of Galata Mawlawi House, Grand Bazaar, Küd Dıpo Surp Asdvadzadzin Armenian Church, Panayia Greek Orthodox Church, Sait Halim Pasha Mansion, Sakıp Sabancı Museum Fıstıklı Terrace and Zorlu PAC Drama Stage will be added to the venues that has become a classic for the festival Hagia Eirene Museum, Boğaziçi University Albert Long Hall, Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre, İş Sanat Concert Hall, Süreyya Opera House and Austrian Culture Forum.

Istanbul Music Festival Director Yeşim Gürer Oymak said “We have created the festival programme in circumstances more difficult than ever, in an ‘unusual’ period. In times like this, we need the uniting, healing and hope-yielding power of culture and arts. The festival was conceived around the theme of ‘Unusual’. Creative, challenging, intriguing, stimulating, interesting, impressive, multidisciplinary, multifaceted, and pregnant to new experiences... In addition to once in a life time artist collaborations that are exclusive to Istanbul Music Festival, commissions and premieres, preparations and research on projects that allow for interdisciplinary transitions; presenting concerts in venues that speak to the themes of the concerts does not only deepen the festival experience for the audience, but also helps us create a new community of culture and arts followers.”

On Monday, May 29, the 45th Istanbul Music Festival will open with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert, featuring the winner of the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition in Cello, Andrei Ioniță, hailed by The Times as “one of the most exciting cellists to have emerged for a decade”.

At the opening ceremony of the festival, the 45th Istanbul Music Festival’s Honorary Award will be presented to music critic Evin İlyasoğlu, and Philip Glass will be presented the festival's Lifetime Achievement Award. Unable to attend the ceremony, Glass will deliver his prize speech with a special video.

The 45th Istanbul Music Festival programme booklet is available on


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