The oldest of any event held by the Istanbul Culture and Art Vakfı (Turkish: İstanbul Kültür Sanat Vakfı), it began as the International Istanbul Music Festival in 1973. Since then every year the festival brings together some of the most distinguished and creative names in classical music, classical ballet, modern dance, opera, traditional music, jazz, pop, cinema, theater and the visual arts. The festival is enriched by the participation of both local and foreign artists and the many seminars, conferences and panels that also take place here.
The International Istanbul Music Festival – with the goal of being identified with the creativity that comes from the exchange of inspiration and artistic experimentation – brings together orchestras and soloists from different countries.
With distinguished artists from Turkey and around the world it is a meeting place for art and music lovers.
The festival holds in concerts in different historical venues throughout the city in an attempt to keep its historical legacy alive.
Having won respect across the world for its encouragement of artistic research and its approach to promoting common cultural values, the International Istanbul Music Festival has been a member of the European Festivals Association since 1977.