Istanbul Recitals is surely the Bosphorus’s best-kept musical secret: a monthly series of classical piano recitals by visiting virtuosi. Sadly, Kamil Şükûn, the mentor and inspiration behind the series, died in April after a short illness, but his legacy is alive and well.
We cannot recommend these recitals too strongly, and urge readers to book ahead. Treats to look forward begin with Saleem Ashkar's sparkling treatment of Beethoven on October 8. Laure Favre-Khan plays Chopin on November 14 (Fanfare Magazine is full of praise for her ‘fluid, graceful style’) and Martin Sadtfeld offers Bach on December 12. Following in 2016 are Finghin Collins (January 14), Angela Hewitt (February 12), a dual recital by the Korean violinist Esther Yoo with the Chinese pianist Zhang Zuo (March 12), Iceland’s Vikingur Olafsson (April 7), the Jordanian Karim Said (May 6) and Russia’s Nikolo Demidenko (June 4).
Recitals are held at The Seed, in the gardens of the Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM) in Emirgan: a magical setting for a space-age auditorium invisible from the water that makes you feel as though you are practically sitting inside the instrument. Exhibitions at the SSM stay open late for concert-goers. Another reason to arrive in good time is The Seed’s terrace bar, where the Bosphorus is framed by pencil-thin cypresses. It is all worth travelling for, but to have it on your doorstep is truly spoiling.
The organisers are generously offering Cornucopia readers a choice of excellent subscription packages for the 2015–16 season. Tickets normally cost TL160, but these bring the price down to TL80 per concert. The complete nine-recital package costs only TL720 (against the full TL1,420). Book extra tickets at the same time at the same discounted price. The deadline is Friday, July 10. Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. For details, click here.