Music is one of the most celebrated art forms in the world. Music events happen all year round in different countries, each having their own way of presenting and executing different genres.

Aside from the many historical sites and monumental structures, the country of Turkey gives importance to music. Every year, the Istanbul Music Festival is celebrated to promote and showcase classical, traditional, and modern music by means of having performances, workshops, seminars, recitals, and concerts of the best artists from the country and all parts of the world.

Formed in 1973, this oldest of all Istanbul festivals only gets better each year. This production aims to promote projects that will boost research and launch musical projects. From June 4 to 29, 2011, there will be 24 concerts of recitals, symphonies, orchestras, and chamber music under this year’s theme of “Journeys to Far Away Lands.”

Some of the many activities in store are The Pictures at an Exhibition, a pre-concert lecture with musician and author Aydın Büke; a Meet the Artists event hosted by Serhan Bali featuring Nicola Benedetti; and Master Classes (participants are selected in advance) with guitarist Cem Duruöz and pianist Stephen Kovacevich. There will also be a lecture entitled “Glenn Gould and Bach” by pianist Gülsin Onay. This year’s Istanbul Music Festival’s Honorary and Lifetime Achievement Awards will also be given to more than a dozen  influential composers, educators, and musicians that have greatly contributed to different movements in music.

Attendees would be glad to know that the festival will commence with performances to be held at the Hagia Eirene Museum by both old and new artists—the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra joined by Sascha Goetzel and Lara Melda, winner of last year’s BBC Young Musician Contest. The following days will feature respected names such as İdil Biret, Gidon Kremer, Richard Galliano, The Moscow Soloists, The Hezarfen Ensemble with Arlene Rolph and Christie Finn, Akbank Chamber Orchestra, and Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra. Surely, pure musical geniuses will grace the stages to give audiences some of the best musical performances.

While in Istanbul, why not try and take a stroll down the roads to catch some of the most amazing views in the country? When taking a break from the musical festivities, go and visit the lavish and magnificent Topkapı Palace (where Ottoman sultans lived in for three centuries), one of the most popular must-see places especially for tourists. Extend your appreciation and participation in the arts by going to the city’s historical museums such as The Istanbul Modern Museum, Istanbul Archaeology Museum, and the Hagia Sophia Museum. You also should not miss the beauty of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque). If you would like to get a great view of the entire metropolis, go up the grand, dominating structure of the Galata Tower.

Enjoy this wonderful city by exploring the different branches of art waiting to be explored. Whether it’s about music or just simply the exquisite architectures in the city, you are sure to bring home truly unforgettable memories.


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