Istanbul Music Festival

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Artist Name or Name of Institution

Istanbul Music Festival



İstanbul, Türkiye



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.

The commission to the Turkish composer Turgay Erdener entitled Nonet Pastoral “alla turca” interweaves Beethoven’s Pastoral with themes from Ottoman composers, and it is part of the Beethoven Pastoral Project run within the scope of BTHVN2020. Erdener’s work will have its world premiere on 5 June, the World Environment Day, at the Archaeology Museum Courtyard with the master musicians Derya Türkan, Yurdal Tokcan, Serkan Mesut Halili, Aykut Köselerli, Kağan Yıldız and Semplice Quartet.

As the Istanbul Music Festival, we believe that Beethoven’s love for nature will call attention to the relation between mankind and nature, including such current issues as environmental destruction and sustainability.