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International Istanbul Music Festival

June 4, 2009
International Istanbul Music Festival International Istanbul Music Festival

The 37th International Istanbul Music Festival, which runs from tomorrow, June 5, through June 30, is bringing top international and Turkish classical musicians to the city’s stages and providing ticket holders with a rare chance to meet and greet some of the artists before the shows.

Among the big names participating this year are the German violin virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter, in concert with Lynn Harrell and Sir André Previn; the Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez, who The New York Times wrote is “fluent in scales, runs and fancywork far beyond Pavarotti’s comfort zone”; and, on the festival’s last night, the Argentine conductor and soloist Daniel Barenboim, leading La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra of Milan in Beethoven and Berlioz.

These concerts are a great opportunity to treat the eyes as well as the ears by getting a glimpse inside some of Istanbul’s most interesting musical venues, each with its own fascinating back story. There’s the Sureyya Opera House in Kadikoy, for example, built in the 1920s just after the birth of the modern Turkish Republic and inspired by the Champs-Elysee Theater in Paris, or the Aya Irini, commissioned in the fourth century as the first church built in Constantinople.

In the meet-the-artist series, ticket holders will have a chance to speak with some of the younger musical sensations, including the willowy Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta, or the former child prodigy Han-Na Chang of South Korea, also a cellist. Both sessions take place in the cloisters of the Aya Irini.

And if classical music isn’t your thing, be patient. Watch this site for the rundown on highlights for the city’s jazz festival, running from July 2 to 15 — as well as info on upcoming Istanbul gigs from Leonard Cohen, Santana and Loreena McKennitt.

Opening Concert
Baroque Trumpet Gala
Concerts at the Palace – I
Festival Encounters – I
Voice of the Heart
Reflections on Bach
A Baroque Feast
Festival Encounters – II
Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra & Juan Diego Flórez
Mutter, Harrell, Previn
Young Legend Han-Na Chang
The English Concert
Concerts at the Palace – II
Play Bach 50th Anniversary
Dances of Centuries
Encounters Around Cello
Filarmonica Della Scala & Daniel Barenboim


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