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The 45th Istanbul Music Festival through photographs | 13.07.2017 The festival receives praises from abroad | 09.06.2017 Philip Glass: 'A beautiful award from a beautiful country' | 30.05.2017 The 45th Istanbul Music Festival kicked off with an opening ceremony and concert | 29.05.2017 Festival presents its young soloist | 30.03.2017 Festival presents an 'unusual' programme in its 45th year | 15.02.2017 Festival’s commission to Philip Glass: The Turkey premiere of the 11th Symphony | 15.02.2017 45th Istanbul Music Festival's awards | 15.02.2017 45th Istanbul Music Festival in search for its young soloist | 15.12.2016 Fazıl Say to receive Beethoven Prize in Bonn | 24.11.2016 Award to Veriko Tchumburidze | 24.10.2016 The Festival Production Management Training | 23.09.2016 The 44th Istanbul Music Festival through photographs | 09.08.2016 The 44th Istanbul Music Festival ended with the concert of Vienna Symphonic Orchestra | 27.06.2016 Festival at press | 14.06.2016 First half of the 44th Istanbul Music Festival ended | 13.06.2016 Festival kicked off with the Opening Concert | 02.06.2016 Costa Pilavachi joins the festival’s Advisory Committee | 29.04.2016 "If Music be the Food of Love, Play On!" | 03.02.2016 The festival’s Lifetime Achievement and Honorary Awards | 03.02.2016 The festival’s commission brings one master and three young musicians together | 03.02.2016 Festival brings rich concert series | 03.02.2016 A musical journey across historic venues at the festival: Music Route | 03.02.2016 Pre-concert talks by Jessica Duchen | 29.06.2015 Regarding transportation to Heybeliada | 09.06.2015 Festival kicked off | 01.06.2015 43rd Istanbul Music Festival kicks off | 25.05.2015 Festival presents its young soloist: Bengisu Kömürcü | 30.03.2015 Istanbul Music Festival programme is announced | 03.02.2015 The Festival's Lifetime Achievement and Honorary Awards | 03.02.2015 Festival Commissions | 03.02.2015 Festival in search for its young soloist | 22.12.2014 Verda Erman has passed away | 21.07.2014 This year’s festival poster was designed by Güher and Süher Pekinel | 09.07.2014 Soloist change in the 42nd Istanbul Music Festival | 20.06.2014 42nd Istanbul Music Festival kicked off
with an Award Ceremony and Opening Concert | 01.06.2014
42nd Istanbul Music Festival presents its young soloist: the 11 year-old Kaan Baysal! | 19.03.2014 The 42nd Istanbul Music Festival's programme has been announced | 23.01.2014 42nd Festival Honours Gülsin Onay and Zubin Mehta | 23.01.2014 Festival in search for its young soloist | 15.01.2014

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"If Music be the Food of Love, Play On!"

The 44th Istanbul Music Festival will take place between 1 - 24 June 2016. The festival will present music lovers with an impressive programme built around this year’s theme inspired by Shakespeare’s verse, “If Music be the Food of Love, Play On”. This year’s festival programme was announced at a press meeting held on Wednesday, 3 February 2016.

In her speech, Istanbul Music Festival Director Yeşim Gürer Oymak introduced this year’s festival theme, and heralded the commencement of the new Music Route concert series, and the return of the series Weekend Classics that is brought to music lovers free of charge once again.

The 44th Istanbul Music Festival will host close to 600 local and international artists, including names like
İdil Biret, Murray Perahia, Gautier Capuçon, Angel Blue, Gérard Caussé, Herbert Schuch, Patricia Petibon, Alice Sara Ott, Maria João Pires, Antonio Meneses, Maxim Vengerov, Richard Galliano, and Sylvain Luc, as well as some of the world’s leading ensembles, such as Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Orchestra of the Swan, Artemis Quartet, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, this year’s Guest Orchestra in Residence.

Hosting two world premieres and one Turkey premiere, this year’s festival will feature 26 concerts, comprising symphony and chamber orchestras, recitals, and special projects, and will take place across 17 different venues.

One of the new additions to the festival this year, Music Route concert series will take festival followers on an excursion full of music and history across 5 churches in Beyoğlu: Surp Yerrortutyun Church, Church of Panayia Isodion, Sent Antuan Lower Church, Palais de Hollande Chapel, and Crimea Memorial Church, which will all be used as concert venues for the first time.

The Weekend Classics series, the free festival event that has already become a tradition, will take place at the Garden of Austrian Culture Forum, Fenerbahçe Park, and the Garden of Sakıp Sabancı Museum.

The Embassy of Germany Tarabya Summer Residence, the Hagia Eirene Museum, Boğaziçi University’s Albert Long Hall and South Campus, Garden of Palais de France, İş Sanat Concert Hall, Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhbition Centre, Süreyya Opera House, and Uniq Hall İstanbul, will be among the other concert venues hosting the festival.

The Festival’s Theme: “If Music be the Food of Love, Play On”

Building its programme around different themes since 2011, the Istanbul Music Festival is inspired by Shakespeare’s famous verse, “If Music be the Food of Love, Play On” in this year’s edition. The theme of the 44th Istanbul Music Festival will commemorate the great bard on the 400th year of his passing away with a special project.

Composed by Mendelssohn for one of Shakespeare’s most colourful plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream will bring Orchestra of the Swan based in Stratford-upon-Avon together with soprano Ayşe Şenogul, the recipient of the 2015 Leyla Gencer Voice Competition Audience Award, and stage actress Tilbe Saran. Young British violinist
Tamsin Waley-Cohen will be the soloist in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, the composer’s final large orchestral work. The concert will be held at the Hagia Eirene Museum on Friday, 3 June.

Another concert inspired by the festival theme is also named after it: “If Music be the Food of Love, Play On”. Taking place at Sent Antuan Lower Church on 10 June, the concert draws its strength from Shakespeare’s ageless works, combined with Alexei Volodin’s musical sensitivity and the powerful acting of Mert Fırat and Tilbe Saran. The night, which will open with the eternal love of Romeo and Juliet, two characters who have been an inspiration to many composers, will also feature Mendelssohn’s incidental music A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Medtner’s Fairy Tale No.4 inspired by King Lear. The works will be presented along with scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, once again brought to life by the masterful actress of Turkey’s theatre, Tilbe Saran and a talented actor of the younger generation, Mert Fırat.