The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) has been taking an important part in the cultural and artistic life of Istanbul with its festivals and events for 40 years. İKSV, celebrating its 40th Year Anniversary in 2012, has announced this year's special activities and its future plans at a press meeting.

The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts founded under the leadership of Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı with the goal to present the finest examples of the world's culture and arts, new initiatives and different movements to Istanbul's art lovers, to promote Turkey's cultural multiplicity to the world and to transform Istanbul into an important centre of the international culture and arts platform, has become the pioneer of Istanbul's cultural and artistic life with the festivals and events it has organised for 40 years.

The 40th anniversary activities and special events of İKSV were announced at a press meeting held in Salon located in the foundation building on Tuesday, 17 January. Bülent Eczacıbaşı, Chair of the Board of Directors of İKSV not only shared the special activities that will be organised as part of the 40th Year Anniversary celebrations, but also provided information on the Istanbul Film, Theatre, Music and Jazz Festivals, the Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, Filmekimi, and the Istanbul Design Biennial that will be held for the first time this year.

Bülent Eczacıbaşı, Chair of the Board of Directors of İKSV who stated that in the 40 years, İKSV had become an institution that organises four festivals on international levels and two biennials and realises exclusive events throughout the year, said "Initially founded with the aim of organizing a single "Istanbul Festival", the İKSV has transformed itself, over a period of 40 years, into an institution that runs four festivals, two biennials and holds numerous special events throughout the year. We are proud to celebrate our 40th anniversary as a non-profit institution involved in culture and the arts. (...) Our dreams, as we celebrate İKSV's 40th anniversary, go beyond the organisation of culture and art events. Through our activities, we wish to support the development of young individuals, cultivate artists specialized in their own fields, strengthen the international ties of artists and art enthusiasts, ensure the development of participatory and sustainable cultural policies in our country, and contribute to the production of contemporary art in Turkey."

The Vice Chairmen of the Board of Directors Ahmet Kocabıyık and Münir Ekonomi also attended the İKSV's 40th Year Anniversary press meeting and answered the questions. All the İKSV employees were also present at the meeting.

A book: story of the 40 years

For its 40th Year Anniversary, İKSV is preparing a book where these 40 years' memories will be told by its founders, employees, supporters, artists and spectators. The transformations sustained by the foundation from its set up point until today, the major events and important turning points will be told with the testimonies of people involved in this process in the book, which will be published in June when the foundation's anniversary will be celebrated. The book aiming to reflect the 40 years history of an institution that guided Istanbul's culture and art life with testimonies from contributors to this history, will record the foundation, the institutionalisation and growth story of the first non-profit culture and arts institution of Turkey with firsthand experiences.

A world premiere from the world-famous performance company La Fura Dels Baus: Istanbul, Istanbul

İKSV is preparing to celebrate its 40th Year Anniversary with many exclusive events. The world famous performance company La Fura dels Baus, renowned for its magnificent street theatre events, as well as for its theatre and opera interpretations, will perform the world premiere of its new project commissioned by İKSV on the anniversary of the beginning of the very first Istanbul Festival.

The world premiere of the "Istanbul, Istanbul" project by the world famous Catalonian La Fura dels Baus for İKSV will be held on the nights of Thursday, 21 June and Friday, 22 June at the Haliç Camialtı Tersanesi. "Istanbul, Istanbul" will be an encounter lasting from the past to the future with an amazing show underlining the strong relationship founded between İKSV and Istanbul.

La Fura dels Baus founded in Barcelona in 1979, besides the opening show of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games stood out with its open air shows realised in many big cities. Many of the works of the company that took place in the Salzburg Festival with their operas, are performed in La Scala, Sidney, Bochum, Paris, Rome and Tokyo Operas and Bolshoi Theatre. In 1999, La Fura dels Baus also had a huge impact with its faust 3.0 show in Turkey at the 11th Istanbul Theatre Festival.

The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Simon Rattle in Istanbul with two Turkish soloists

Another important event that will be held by İKSV in its 40th year is the concert of Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra with its principal conductor Sir Simon Rattle. The surprise of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle concert held on Thursday 27 September at the Haliç Convention Centre is the presence of the internationally acclaimed young Turkish soloists, cellist Efe and his contrabassist brother Fora Baltacıgil.

The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, eagerly followed by music enthusiasts for 130 years, is considered as one of the most important classical music organisations of the world today. Since 2002, Sir Simon Rattle has been the Musical Director and the Principal Conductor of the orchestra, which has performed under important composers such as Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Johannes Brahms and Edvard Grieg.

Today, Efe Baltacıgil, who is especially praised with his "wonderful tone, strong personality and expression depth", is one our most internationally renowned cellists. Efe Baltacıgil making a bright beginning to his career with the 2005 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Peter Jay Sharp Prize and the Washington Performing Arts Society Prize, has been the principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra since September 2011. As for his brother Fora Baltacıgil graduated from the Istanbul State University Conservatory and the Curtis Institute of Music, after having acquired his first orchestral experience in the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, he has performed at the Philadelphia Orchestra and then as the principal bass at the Minnesota Orchestra. In 2009, he joined the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra as the first Turkish artist to do so. The brothers coming together for duo projects recently became a part of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble.

İKSV's 40th year anniversary concert performed by the Baltacıgil brothers pursuing their careers abroad and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle will be definitely remembered for a long time.

Special projects for the 400th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Netherlands

In 2012, İKSV will also realise exclusive events for the 400th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Netherlands.

The Nederlands Dans Theatre, which is the most important contemporary dance representative in Europe and one of the bests of the world, will be in Istanbul for two exclusive shows on Thursday, 14 June and Friday, 15 June. The company, which first came to Istanbul in 2004 for the 32nd Istanbul Music Festival, will meet the spectator with a programme composed of productions of its young and dynamic group NDT 2 and worldly renowned choreographers Jiří Kylián, Paul Lightfoot, Sol Leon and Alexander Ekman. The Dutch company, founded in 1959 and of which Paul Lightfoot is the Art Director, performs more than 160 shows per year all around the world.

Another organisation held within the framework of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey, is the concert of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with the guest conductor Lorin Maazel on Saturday, 10 November at the Haliç Congress Centre. Accepted as one of the best symphonic orchestras of the world, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is comprised of 120 virtuosos. The Orchestra conducted by many important composers as Strauss, Mahler, Debussy and Stravinsky since 1888 when it was founded, was named the best orchestra of 2007 by the BBC Music Magazine. The company which performed at the closing concert of the 35th Istanbul Music Festival under the conduction of chef-conductor Mariss Jansons in 2007, will once again be in Istanbul in 2012 with one of the world's most prestigious conductors, Lorin Maazel.

Besides those special projects, several concerts will be held during the Istanbul Jazz Festival for the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the diplomatic relations.

"Year of Chinese Culture in Turkey 2012" projects by İKSV

The "Year of Chinese Culture in Turkey 2012" aiming to strengthen the cultural rapprochement and political relations between Turkey and China, will also be celebrated with activities organised by İKSV. This relation will be pursued as the "Year of Turkish Culture in China" in 2013, and will enable people to get to know each other in depth through culture and the arts.

İKSV will devote special sections to the "2012 Year of Chinese Culture in Turkey" throughout the Istanbul Festivals in 2012. An exclusive section will cover Chinese movies at the 31st Istanbul Film Festival. While the Beijing Opera will present a splendid show at the 18th Istanbul Theatre Festival, the Song and Dance Ensemble from Shanghai will reflect the contemporary traits of Chinese culture. Furthermore, while the Ansai Waist Drummers Company will present traditional street activities, the Kite Workshop and Exhibition will draw attention as an education project for youngsters.

The Istanbul Festivals will be in full swing in 2012

Besides the exclusive 40th Year Anniversary activities in 2012, İKSV will also organise the Istanbul Film, Theatre, Music and Jazz Festivals, the Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, Filmekimi, and the Istanbul Design Biennial that will be held for the first time this year. Salon, located in the İKSV building, will also continue to host the most anticipated names of contemporary music as well as theatre plays and literature events.

During 2012, the official sponsors of İKSV; Leading Sponsor Eczacıbaşı Holding, Official Airline Turkish Airlines, Official Communication Sponsor Vodafone and Official Carrier DHL Express will continue their support.

• The 31st Istanbul Film Festival will be realised with the sponsorship of Akbank, between 31 March - 15 April;
• The 18th Istanbul Theatre Festival, with the sponsorship of Koç Holding Energy Group Companies Aygaz, Opet and Tüpraş, between 10 May - 15 June;
• The 40th Istanbul Music Festival, with the sponsorship of Borusan Holding, between 31 May - 29 June;
• The 19th Istanbul Jazz Festival, with the sponsorship of Garanti Bank, between 2 - 19 June;
• The 7th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, with the sponsorship of Doğuş Group and Garanti Bank and the cooperation partnership of Borusan Holding, between 15 - 20 September;
• The 11th Filmekimi, between 6 - 14 October;
• The first Istanbul Design Biennial, with the co-sponsorship of Eren Holding, Koray Group of Companies, Vestel and VitrA, between 13 October - 12 December.

The detailed programmes of all the festivals will be announced at future press conferences.

Exclusive 40th year anniversary collection by İKSV Design Store

The İKSV Design Store, located at the entrance floor of the İKSV building and offering exclusive present alternatives to design and art passionate, is preparing a special collection for İKSV's 40th year.

The İKSV 40th Year Anniversary Exclusive Collection comprising of 40 products, prepared exclusively for İKSV by nearly 20 Turkish designers from glass, ceramic, paper will be put up for sale after a special promotion in the shop in April.

The "BiTamBiÖğrenci" project will be revived in the 40th year

İKSV, within the scope of the "BiTamBiÖğrenci" project held with the support of several NGOs, invites everyone sensitive to the arts, to bring students who don't have the chance to attend cultural events, together with the arts.

The scope of the project, which started in 2007, will be widened in 2012 by İKSV, with the aim of diversifying the range of the supporting NGOs to enable more students to benefit from this opportunity. 10,000 youngsters under the age of 21 and designated by the supporting NGOs of İKSV will benefit from the "BiTamBiÖğrenci" project.

İKSV will provide a platform enabling the art lovers to buy "BirTamBir Öğrenci" tickets through İKSV website (, in order to bring students who can't attend cultural activities together with the arts, during the four Istanbul festivals (Film Festival, Theatre Festival, Music Festival and Jazz Festival), two biennials (Istanbul Biennial and Istanbul Design Biennial) and all the special events organised by İKSV.