Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra
The Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra (BIPO) began as the Borusan Chamber Orchestra, one of the first ventures in the field of culture and the arts by Borusan Holding, a leading industrial conglomerate in Turkey. In 1999 it was transformed into one of the leading Turkish philharmonic ensembles under its former artistic director and principal conductor Gürer Aykal. The orchestra’s first season began spectacularly with symphonies by Beethoven, and it was immediately invited to open the Ankara Music Festival. Performances outside Istanbul continued with a visit to the Ruse Music Festival in Bulgaria, a tour of South-East Anatolia and concerts at the Eski¸sehir Music Festival and in the antique town of Ani, once the capital of the medieval Armenian kingdom, for the Kars Caucasian Festival. Other highlights include a concert to honour the 22nd World Architecture Congress in Istanbul, three performances in Athens of Oresteia by Iannis Xenakis, which were followed by an invitation to the Megaron Hall in Athens with works by Turkish composers, a memorable performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony no.14, and a special concert at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels within ‘Turkey-Europe Week’, an event organised by the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Organisation to celebrate the first anniversary of full membership negotiations between Turkey and the European Union.
BIPO became the resident orchestra of the International Istanbul Music Festival in 2003, and since then they have opened the festival every year with concerts at Hagia Eirene. Among the major international artists who have performed with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic are Maxim Vengerov, Elina Garanca, Juan Diego Flórez, Fazıl Say, Freddy Kempf, Peter Jablonski, Hüseyin Sermet, Ayla Erduran, James Ehnes, John Lill, Steven Isserlis, Joanna MacGregor, Natalie Clein, Olga Borodina, Angela Gheorghiu, Alexander Melnikov, ˙Idil Biret and the Juilliard String Quartet.
A turning point came with Maestro Gürer Aykal’s elevation to honorary conductor and Sascha Goetzel’s appointment as artistic director and principal conductor, bringing a new dimension and a new perspective to the ensemble’s vision and repertoire. BIPO has now set out to become one of the most promising symphonic ensembles in Europe under Goetzel.
With a strong commitment to fostering and advancing love and appreciation for classical music, BIPO has a central role in the Borusan Center for Culture and Arts’ (BCCA) social responsibility project. A special concert gives leading figures from the Turkish business world a chance to conduct the orchestra, and their donations help to provide scholarships for young talents to study at prestigious institutions such as the Guildhall School, the Curtis Institute and the Royal Academy of Music. BCCA has also set up the Borusan String Quartet, the Borusan Children’s Choir and the Music Library, as well as a publishing division specialising in art publications. Under the flagship of BIPO, BCCA will advance its efforts with a new stateof- the-art performance venue for classical music and also jazz, world music, modern dance and exhibitions of contemporary art at its headquarters in the heart of Istanbul.
The 2009/10 season will bring BIPO together with leading soloists such as Isabelle Faust, Daniel Hope, Solveig Kringelborn and Denis Matsuev, among others. The years ahead will hopefully see the orchestra continue its tradition of introducing classical music to new listeners while delighting its dedicated fans.
For upcoming concert dates, see links below: