Istanbul Music Festival celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday

48. Istanbul Music Festival celebrates Ludwig Van Beethoven’s 250th birthday under the theme “The Enlightened World of Beethoven”

The 48th Istanbul Music Festival, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) will be held from 2 to 25 June 2020 with a programme built around this year’s theme The Enlightened World of Beethoven.

İKSV Bülent Eczacıbaşı said about this year’s programme: “This year’s festival is called ‘The Enlightened World of Beethoven’ in honour of the great composer, whose 250th birthday anniversary the world is celebrating this year. Our festival programme is inspired by the enlightenment values that Beethoven represented, among them equality, fraternity, and love of nature. Through our concerts for audiences of every age, we are confident that we will again reach broad segments of the public. Our programme features the performance of three
new works we have commissioned for this year's festival: two are world premieres and the third will be the first performance in Turkey. As always, we are inviting music and voice students at conservatories to attend all concerts free of charge. We will also continue to contribute to the development of talented young women musicians through our “Women Stars of Tomorrow” programme, now in its third year.

Festival celebrates the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth

In 2020, the 48th Istanbul Music Festival, centred on the theme “The Enlightened World of Beethoven” celebrates the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven along with the rest of the world. The festival will feature iconic works of Beethoven, who has gained a remarkable place in the cultural heritage of humanity with his music, as well as new commissions and new projects inspired by him.

The Istanbul Music Festival programme was based on sub-themes that present the essential aspects of the composer such as “love of nature”, “love of humanity” and “innovative and visionary music language”, supporting the main theme of the festival. With his strong and bold musical language, Beethoven broke the boundaries of musical genres of his time and set new standards that still influence the music world. This visionary spirit of the composer will continue to fascinate the music world with new projects and works to be performed at the festival.

Festival will take place across 14 venues
The Istanbul Music Festival will host music enthusiasts in 14 venues in Istanbul such as the Archaeology Museum, Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre, Saint Esprit Cathedral, Sakıp Sabancı Museum Fıstıklı Terrace, Surp Ohan Vosgeperan Armenian Catholic Church, Süreyya Opera House, Zorlu PAC Turkcell Platinum Stage and Zorlu PAC Sky Lounge. Additionally, the Music Route will be held in Büyükada, the largest of Princes’ Islands in Istanbul, at Hesed Le Avraam Synagogue, St. Pacifico Roman Catholic Church and the Anadolu Club. The free festival events Weekend Classics will be held at Feriye and Yıldız Park.

Winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition to open the festival

Dedicated to The Enlightened World of Beethoven, the 48th Music Festival will open with the composer’s popular Violin Concerto, op. 61, and the overture to his only opera, Fidelio. The winner of the 2019 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition, who is also the top prize winner of the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition and youngest ever prize winner of the Menuhin Competition, the 26 year-old American star violinist Stella Chen will make her Turkey debut with this concert with the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra, 2019-2022 Opening Concert Orchestra of the Istanbul Music Festival, under the baton of Aziz Shokhakimov.

The opening ceremony and concert will take place at the Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre on the evening of 2 June.

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