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Istanbul Music Festival 2024

Commissions to Dimitrios Skyllas and Onur Türkmen

Istanbul Music Festival (TR)

The theme of this year's Istanbul Music Festvial is The Roots in 2024, the year that marks 100 years since the Greek and Turkish populations were expelled from their countries under the Treaty of Lausanne. To mark the occasion, the festival commissioned pieces for a cappella choirs, bayan, clarinet and percussion from Greek composer Dimitrios Skyllas and Turkish composer Onur Türkmen.

At least 1.6 million people were forcibly resettled 100 years ago, which had long-term, profound effects in both countries and drove many generations of people from their homes. For those who long for a lost past, it is still painful. Although both populations have this tragic history in their lives, it is clear that the Greek and Turkish populations are ultimately deeply connected as brothers and sisters through their shared pain and history. These commissions, made possible by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, are a tribute to the people who suffered unrelenting pain until the last minute of their lives. Through music – our universal language – the second and third generations will participate in this project to recall and honor this fact and to immortalize the souls and stories of the mübadil (populations exchanged with the Treaty of Lausanne) on the occasion of their 100th anniversary. The Turkish premiere of the project will take place as part of the 52nd Istanbul Music Festival in Istanbul at the Naval Museum.

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June 11, 2024
Naval Museum, Istanbul