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Festival’s commission to Philip Glass: The Turkey premiere of the 11th Symphony

Istanbul Music Festival has been giving commissions to local and international composers in order to contribute to the expansion of contemporary music repertoire and artistic production since 2011. This year, the Istanbul Music Festival continued these efforts by taking part in a joint commission to one of the most famous classical music composers alive, Philip Glass. The Turkey premiere of Philip Glass's latest work, the 11th Symphony, will be held as part of the 45th Istanbul Music Festival under the sponsorship of Borusan Holding at the Hagia Eirene Museum. The symphony will be performed by the festival’s Resident Orchestra Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of conductor Sascha Goetzel on the evening of 16 June.

The 11th Symphony, composed by Philip Glass on the joint commission of the Istanbul Music Festival with the Bruckner-Linz Orchestra and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, made its world premiere at Carnegie Hall on 31 January 2017, celebrating Philip Glass's 80th birthday.

After the 11th Symphony, another Turkey premiere will take place in the second half of the concert. Norwegian soloist siblings, violinist Mari Samuelsen and cellist Hakon Samuelsen will perform Philip Glass's Double Concerto for Violin and Cello for the first time in Turkey, accompanied by the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sascha Goetzel.

Glass is considered as one of the most prominent musicians of modern times with the numerous opera, symphony and chamber music he has composed, his musical and intellectual influence and collaborations he has made with many artists, writers, musicians and composers including Allen Ginsberg, Paul Simon, Brian Eno, Patti Smith, Ravi Shankar, David Bryrne and Doris Lessing. TheAmerican composer was nominated for the Academy, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Emmy Awards for the film scores he wrote for films such as Truman Show, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal and Kundun. Among the artists he recently collaborated are Woody Allen, Stephen Colbert and Leonard Cohen.

Prior to the concert, Philip Glass will be presented with the 45th Istanbul Music Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony that will take place before the opening concert. Unable to attend the ceremony, Glass will deliver his prize speech with a special video.