With the numbers of tourists increasing every year, Istanbul has invested heavily in producing fantastic events for locals and visitors alike. This year's festival calendar includes three standout music festivals, each one extending a warm welcome to international icons and up-and-coming acts.
Istanbul Music Festival
The oldest and arguably one of the most prestigious music festivals in the region, the Istanbul Music Festival was first organized in 1973 by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. Running between May 23rd and June 12th, the festival will host hosted a number of prestigious orchestras and ensembles. This year, performances, screenings, talks and awards will explore the concepts of multiculturalism and tolerance though the lens of this year's theme 'Family Bonds'. Events will take place in a variety of venues, with previous performances hosted in famed buildings like the Topkapı Palace and the Lütfi Kırdar Convention & Exhibition Centre.
A star-studded list of classical acts will flock in from around the world, with several performers this year making their Turkish debut, such as rising star pianist Yekwon Sunwoo. And other stars will be returning to the festival, such as the Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra in Residence of the Istanbul Music Festival, and Grammy Award winner Daniil Trifonov. Because of the theme, you will be able to enjoy multiple musical families including Diana Damrau-Nicolas Testé couple, twin sisters Güher & Süher Pekinel and Ferhan & Ferzan Önder, Mischa Maisky, Lily and Sascha Maisky,and sisters Baiba and Lauma Skride, just to name a few.
International Istanbul Jazz Festival
Sharing its organizers with those of the prestigious Istanbul Music Festival, the International Istanbul Jazz Festival offers the same high quality and caliber of art and programming. The festival is known for attracting an international line-up and has previously hosted the likes of Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Massive Attack and Björk. Despite its name, the festival books not only jazz greats, but also an eclectic array of performers from rock, blues, pop and reggae backgrounds, among others. The event gets underway June 26th up to July 17th. Watch for the upcoming lineup and look out for the tickets on their homepage here.
Akbank Jazz Festival
Akbank is one of the most waited festival in Turkey for the jazz lovers. The festival offers variety of jazz styles starting from classical jazz to avant-garde sounds so that everyone can find the style that fits their taste. Akbank Jazz Festival not only gathers world-renowned jazz musicians, but also brings new names into the jazz world. The festival, that runs in October, offers a number of performances, workshops and panel discussions for music lovers. Events will be held at a variety of venues, including universities and Akbank Sanat itself, which is only a 15-minute drive from our Radisson Blu Bosphorus Hotel, Istanbul.