Turkey Focus


June - July 1996

For 23 years, the Istanbul International Music Festival has brought together the world's most celebrated artists from the worlds of classical music, pop, jazz, rock, opera, folk music, ballet and modern dance. And showcased their music and performances in settings unparalleled throughout the world for their history, splendour and sheer atmosphere. Where else could you behold an annual performance of Abduction from the Seraglio staged in that most appropriate of settings, at the entrance to the Inner Palace at Topkapi? Or listen to the queen of jazz singers, Betty Carter - as well as the likes of Tito Puente, Joan Baez, Sting, David Byrne, Wynton Marsalis and the English Royal Ballet?

The World's Greatest Artists

It's a rare festival, indeed, that brings together the talents of guitarist Pat Metheny and cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, performance artist Laurie Anderson and flutist James Galway. Or flamenco guitarist Paco Pena with Bobby McFerrin, soprano Hildegard Behrens, the New York Philharmonic and Scottish Chamber orchestras. And only the Istanbul International Music Festival has been staging such celebrated performances in dramatic settings that include 4th century St. Irene's Church - built by Emperor Constantine as Constantinople's first church - and the Topkapi Palace Museum for nearly a quarter century.

The Festival - A reason in itself for visiting Istanbul

Each year, the Festival brings together more than 50 different performances that span the arts: from ballet and modern dance to pop, jazz, opera and classical music. And the third annual Istanbul Jazz Festival also unfolds its riches concurrently with the International Festival, drawing the greatest luminaries in the world of jazz to venues around the city. Among the featured 1996 artists are Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, and the Mark Morris Dance Group, as well as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Tallis Chamber Choir.

The 1996 festivals are over. Here is what played at the Istanbul International Music Festival and the Istanbul International Jazz Festival in 1996.

The two festivals alone are reason enough for visiting Istanbul - as record numbers of Americans have already discovered - and, with so many fascinating destinations within easy reach of the city, the festival can become the perfect beginning, highlight or conclusion to your next vacation. The exclusive U.S. marketing agent of the Istanbul International Festival, Megatrails is the perfect source for advice and arrangements for the Festival and tours to fit specific festival dates for those who are willing to come from U.S.

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