The Istanbul Music Festival opens on May 31, 2012 and continues throughout the month of June. Organised by IKSV as they celebrate their 40th year (the organisation was first founded to curate an arts festival back in 1973), this looks set to be a particularly fine series of performances.
Many of the highlights come from the international contingent. On June 1 the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras come together for a performance of concertos by Mozart and Rihm, led by the violin virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter. Deutches Symphonie Orchester Berlin will perform with conductor Sir Roger Norrington on June 16, and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra close the festival on June 29. There will be two performances by Zurich Ballet: Heinz Spoerli's '...und mied den Wind' on June 4 and 'In den Winden im nichts' the following evening. Both performances will take place at Hagia Irene, an 8th-century Byzantine church.
Another world first will take place on June 23. Celebrated pianist and composer Fazıl Say's new work 'Mesopotamia' will be performed by Say and the Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra at the Golden Horn Congress Centre in Sütlüce.
For those with an interest in music history, we recommend the Kudsi Ergüner Ensemble and the Doulce Mémoire Ensemble performing two different schools of 15th- and 16th-century music together. Kudsi Ergüner's is the third generation of a family of accomplished neyzens (ney players) while the Doulce Mémoire Ensemble explore Renaissance music. The amalgamation of the two promises to reveal unexpected meeting points between Eastern and Western musical traditions.
One imagines a more modern atmosphere will be evident on June 9. The garden of the Dutch Consulate will be swinging to the sound of saxophones as the Amstel Quartet perform their own arrangements of a wide range of classical compositions by the likes of Brahms and Bach as well as Michael Nyman, Samuel Barber and Tan Dun. Perfect entertainment for a warm summer's evening.