A 19-day feast for music lovers: The 49th Istanbul Music Festival runs 3-21 June at open-air venues

Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) with the support of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the 49th Istanbul Music Festival will meet the festival audience in open-air venues on 3-21 June under pandemic measures. The festival, which will take place completely open-air for the first time in its nearly 50 years of history, will offer music lovers a “whole new classical music experience”. The theme and the entire programme of the 49th Istanbul Music Festival will be announced in April 2021.

Festival’s Honorary Award goes to Prof. Cihat Aşkın

Cihat Aşkın is the international representative of Turkish Violin School, and serves as a cultural bridge between the eastern and western civilizations as a cultural ambassador. Aşkın participated in numerous concerts, festivals, radio and TV broadcasts, conferences and workshops in four continents and 51 countries and shared the products of Turkish and universal music among the world’s leading artists on prestigious classical music halls. Apart from his performing career, as an educationalist, Aşkın founded many education and art institutions in Turkey.

Prof. Cihat Aşkın will receive his award at the opening ceremony of the festival.

>> Please click here for the biography of Cihat Aşkın.

Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Pēteris Vasks

Co-commissioned by the Istanbul Music Festival, Philharmonie Essen, Autumn Chamber Music Festival Riga and Wigmore Hall with the support of the President of the Hoffmann Foundation André Hoffmann in 2020, Pēteris Vasks’ work String Quartet No. 6 will have its Turkey premiere, postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic, within the festival. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Vasks before this concert to be held at the 49th Istanbul Music Festival.

In 1996, Pēteris Vasks was appointed as the Main Composer of the Stockholm New Music Festival and he was awarded the Herder Prize from the Alfred Toepfer Foundation and the Baltic Assembly Prize. Vasks received the Latvian Great Music Award and was created as an honorary member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences in 1994 and a member of the Royal Swedish Music Academy in Stockholm in 2001. In 2002, the composer became an honorary senator of the Latvian Cultural Academy in Riga. In 2005, he received the Cannes Classical Award for recordings of the violin concerto Distant Light and the 2nd Symphony. In 2016 Vasks received the State Cultural Award of the Republic of Latvia and in 2019 the Honorary Diploma of the Latvian President.

>> Please click here for the biography of Pēteris Vasks.

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