Istanbul hosted a dazzling array of world-famous musicians as well as prestigious cultural events and festivals in 2019.
Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), the 47th Istanbul Music Festival included 22 concerts with nearly 600 local and international musicians in the metropolis on June 11-30.
Polish pianist and composer Piotr Anderszewski, Armenian cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, and Russian pianist Yulianna Andreevna Avdeeva were among the musicians that performed for audiences in Turkey’s largest city as part of the festival.
Separately, the 26th Istanbul Jazz Festival hosted 300 foreign artists from various parts of the world from June 29 to July 18.
As part of the event, audiences enjoyed more than 50 concerts in nearly 20 venues across the Turkish metropolis.
Prominent contemporary artists performed for the festival, including Jose James, Melanie De Biasio, Cyrille Aimee, Alfredo Rodriguez Salicio, and Snarky Puppy.
The concerts attracted around 40,000 viewers.
Another major cultural venue, the Zorlu Performing Arts Center (PSM), hosted 500 concerts and music events with 400,000 viewers this year.
Renowned virtuoso American vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin, best known for his 1988 hit Don’t Worry, Be Happy, appeared in the city in a May concert at PSM. Grammy-winner McFerrin is well known for his unique vocal techniques and singing styles.
PSM also hosted French-Moroccan singer Hindi Zahra — who fuses jazz music with traditional Moroccan melodies and English lyrics — in October and Emel Mathlouthi, a Tunisian singer-songwriter best known for her song Kelmti Horra (My Word is Free), in March.
Mark Eliyahu, an Israeli musician mixing eastern and western music with modern instruments, was also featured at the same venue in June.
For their world tour, Pink Martini came to Istanbul in May. The group performed a mixture of various musical genres in different languages at Volkswagen Arena.
Volkswagen Arena also hosted Celtic folk singer Loreena McKennitt in July and American rock band Evanescence and Virtuoso violinist David Garrett, both in September.
November saw Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams performing at Ulker Sports Arena in the city, as part of his Shine a Light tour.
Bosnian recording artist Goran Bregovic also performed in the metropolis as part of the eighth International Clarinet Festival in November.