The 49th Istanbul Music Festival kicked off Wednesday with an opening ceremony and concert in Turkey’s largest city.
Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) with the support of the Republic of Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry, the festival opened at Istanbul’s Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theatre, according to a statement from the organizers.
The event, presented by Turkish actor Toprak Sergen, began with an opening speech delivered by Bulent Eczacibasi, the chairman of IKSV.
“After a long break, we are very happy to be with you once again at the opening of the 49th Istanbul Music Festival,” Eczacibasi said, according to the statement.
“Declaring that 'Another World is Possible,' this year, our festival is meeting its audiences with longing as much as with hope and excitement.”
The festival’s Honorary Award was presented to Prof. Cihat Askin, the international representative of the Turkish Violin School, the statement added.
After the ceremony, the festival began with a concert by prominent pianist Anna Vinnitskaya, “who narrates stories with her music,” and the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra, the festival’s opening concert orchestra in 2019-2022, the statement added.
In June, the festival’s organizers announced that all concerts planned for this year’s festival would be held outdoors under pandemic measures.
The festival's 49th edition, with the theme 'Another World is Possible,' is scheduled to take place between Aug. 18 and Sept. 16.
As many as 20 concerts will be held at 14 venues in Istanbul, and the festival will host over 30 soloists, ensembles and orchestras from Turkey and abroad.