The Istanbul Music Festival, the first festival of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012. The 40th year special programme of the Istanbul Music Festival, which hosted more than 40,000 artists from Turkey and abroad with nearly 3,000 performances in 40 years, has been announced.

The Festival's 40th edition will be held between 31 May and 29 June. The 40th Music Festival will host more than 750 local and foreign artists in Istanbul and will present a month full of music. The 40th Istanbul Music Festival will host stars of classical music in Istanbul including Hélène Grimaud, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Milos, Gidon Kremer, Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and will feature two special performances of the Zurich Ballet as part of the farewell tour of Heinz Spoerli, one of the leading choreographers of Europe. Along with concerts, the festival will also present talks, educational workshops and speeches.

The Istanbul Music Festival will continue to contribute to the contemporary music repertory with its commissions to two world-renown composers. One of the most productive artists of our time, the genius pianist Fazıl Say who gets standing ovations at every concert, and one of most valuable composers of Georgia, Giya Kancheli will have the world premieres of their new works commissioned by the Istanbul Music Festival within the scope of the festival.

Since 2011, the festival has started to build its programme around a theme. The theme of this year's Istanbul Music Festival will be "Hope and Heroes." The festival programme, as a result of an accurate repertory research, presents a range of specific works and special concert projects selected within the scope of two intertwined themes such as heroes and hope. Along with these, special projects entitled "Istanbul Music Festival in Search of Its Young Soloist," "Young Masters and Their Heroes" and "Open Conservatory", which will be held in Karaköy Greek Primary School, will be carried out as well.

Presenting 2 world premieres and 3 Turkish premieres, the 40th Istanbul Music Festival features 23 concerts including symphonic and chamber orchestras, vocal concerts, chamber music and recitals. The festival concerts will be held in 8 different venues including Hagia Eirene Museum, which continues to host the festival for the last 40 years, along with the Haliç Congress Center, Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center, Garden of the Netherlands Consulate General, Süreyya Opera House, Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, Istanbul University Rectorate Building and Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

Lifetime Achievement and Honorary Awards

The Honorary Award of the 40th Istanbul Music Festival will be presented to prominent pianist Hüseyin Sermet, who is renowned not only for his successful interpretations but also for his compositions. Sermet, who has been performing with prominent orchestras and conductors all around the world, and whose recorded albums have been presented with important awards such as Diapason d'Or and MIDEM Classical Award, will receive his award on Thursday, 31 May at the Opening Ceremony of the Festival at Haliç Congress Center.

The Lifetime Achievement Award of the festival will be presented to composer Giya Kancheli, on Monday, 11 June at the Hagia Eirene Museum, before the world premiere of his work commissioned by the Istanbul Music Festival.


The tickets of the 40th Istanbul Music Festival are available through:

• Biletix retail outlets,
• Biletix Call Centre (0216 556 98 00),
• IKSV building (Nejat Eczacıbaşı Building Sadi Konuralp Cad. No:5
Şişhane, between 10.00-18:00, except Sunday).

And during the festival, the tickets can be bought from the Hagia Eirene Museum.