International Istanbul Music Festival

istanbul photo
Photo by szeke

We’re all about unusual travel destination here at B Sunglasses. From the Komodo Islands in Indonesia, to the orange festival of King’s Day in Amsterdam, we love thinking outside the box when planning holidays. This week, we’ve picked another unique opportunity, as Istanbul hosts its 46th International Music Festival. The rich cultural event will draw visitors in, and the enchanting city itself will have them never wanting to go home.

The Istanbul International Music Festival is the most established classic music event in Turkey. Internationally renowned for its creative programmes and contribution in enriching the classical music repertoire by commissions, it attracts visitors from all over the world each year. Throughout its history of more than 40 years, it has played a major role in building up an appreciation for classical music in Istanbul and Turkey. The festival strives to create opportunities for artists to share their inspiration and artistic experience with one another.

istanbul grand bazaar photo

This year the theme is “Family Bonds”, and will showcased a number of musician families, including Mischa Maisky and his children Lily and Sascha Maisky, Diana Damrau-Nicolas Testé couple, and twin sisters Güher & Süher Pekinel and Ferhan & Ferzan Önder. The theme will receive further focus in a series of pre-concert talks that will discuss Wittgenstein’s philosophy as well as the multifaceted relation between music and family. Other fantastic acts include: Filarmonica della Scala, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, English Chamber Orchestra, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, and Joyce DiDonato.

Istanbul International Music Festival
Istanbul International Music Festival

Aside from the astonishing beauty of the music itself, the events are hosted in outstanding buildings across the city. Istanbul’s many mosques, cathedrals, and amphitheaters are all venues for the performances and, as you can imagine, the acoustics are incredible. Concert halls, and the parks and gardens of Istanbul are all choice venues too, and some of the outdoors performances are free so keep an eye on the programme. Listening to classical music in a city like Istanbul is unbeatable. With such a rich history and ancient architecture, the setting could not be better suited to explore and celebrate classical culture.

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Even if classical music is not one of your great passions, a trip to Istanbul during this time is magical. The spirit around the city is lively and bright, and you can take your pick of a few concerts to experience the music and learn new things about classical culture. In June, the city is sunny and warm, but not stifling and the summer holiday crowds won’t be there yet. Istanbul is coastal, offering the beautiful views of the sea as well as swimming opportunities along the coast.

istanbul grand bazaar photo
Photo by Nick Harris1

Aside from the music events, Istanbul is an ancient and fascinating city. Visit one of the many mosques, palaces, and the Grand Bazaar to gaze and breathe in aromas of the colourful spices on display. Take boat rides, cross the ornate bridges, and dine on the aromatic food all night long. Istanbul is the perfect June getaway, with a thriving, unique culture.

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Let us know why you love Istanbul in the comments below.