In the new year, Istanbul’s events continue to offer lots of cool concerts and workshops all in the warmth of the city’s best venues. Check out the best of January’s events.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 1st – SUNDAY, JANUARY 8th
MUSIC | Barış Manço
📅 January 6th
One of Turkey’s most important figures from the psychedelic music movement, Barış Manço continues to be a legend long after his death. At this special party, local favorites Mehmet Aslan and Mete Avunduk, two talented DJs, will celebrate the music icon’s birthday by reinterpreting Manço’s classic songs.
THEATER | Frankenstein
📅 January 7th
Mary Shelley’s classic novel was reinterpreted for the stage by director Nick Dear, and after five seasons on the London stage, it’s finally making its way to Istanbul. Directed by Şakir Gürzümar and starring some of Turkey’s most talented actors, Frankenstein will come alive on Zorlu’s technologically advanced stage.
MUSIC | Halil Sezai
📅 January 7th
When Halil Sezai’s song ‘İsyan’ was released in 2011, it became an anthem for all heartbreak. Sezai’s deep voice and poignant lyrics have made him one of Turkey’s most soulful singers. Join him for an intimate evening of music.
WORKSHOP | MSA Sushi
📅 January 7th
The perfect workshop for sushi aficionados who want to learn how to make the famous Japanese dish at home. Accompanied by plenty of green tea, students will learn how to make sushi rice, the California roll, salmon maki, shrimp nigiri, sea bass nigiri, and temaki.
THEATER | Macbeth
📅 January 8th
One of Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedies takes on the Istanbul stage with a star-studded cast of local talent under the direction of Bülent Emin. Having previously performed plays by such respected writers as Samuel Beckett, Roland Schimmelpfennig, and Pedro Calderón, this particular troupe will definitely not disappoint.
MONDAY, JANUARY 9th – SUNDAY, JANUARY 15th
MUSIC | Pavel Steidl
📅 January 11th
Pavel Steidl’s career really began when he won the international guitar competition held by Radio Paris France in 1982. Since then, he has become one of his generation’s most important guitar players with his own unique style, including his own compositions. After having toured more than 40 countries, Steidl will take on the Istanbul stage in all of his musical glory.
MUSIC | İdil Biret
📅 January 12th
Having begun playing the piano at the age of three, İdil Biret went on to train with famous French musician Nadia Boulanger at the age of eight at the Paris Conservatory. Since then, the talented pianist has performed with such important classical music companies as the Boston Symphony, the Leningrad Philharmonic, the London Symphony, and the Dresden Philharmonic. Biret has also released 100 LPs and albums since 1959, and seeing her live is definitely a treat for classic piano lovers.
OPERA | Cappella Gabetta
📅 January 12th
Cappella Gabetta, an ensemble that has stood out with their early classic era and baroque performances, returns to Istanbul with a special presentation. Accompanied by successful sopranos, Alaska native mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux and German coloratura soprano Simone Kermes, this is a must-see event for classic music lovers.
MUSIC | Waldeck
📅 January 13th
It was with the song ‘Aquarius,’ which featured on his album Northern Lights, that Klaus Waldeck became an important name in the electro swing genre. Having worked with such names as Incognito, Moby, and Brian Amos, Waldeck reflects the post-war era of Italy with his nostalgic style and poignant lyrics.
MUSIC | Alexei Volodin
📅 January 14th
After having won many international awards, it wasn’t until Alexei Volodin won the renowned Geza Anda International Piano Competition in 2003 that his career really began to take off. One of the most important Russian pianists, Alexei Volodin has since been traveling the globe, increasing his admirers everywhere with the intensity of his musical style.
MONDAY, JANUARY 16th – SUNDAY, JANUARY 22nd
MUSIC | Nora Buschmann
📅 January 18th
Berlin native Nora Buschmann is an internationally acclaimed guitar player who won many international competitions after graduating from the Franz Liszt Conservatory in Weimar. Inspired by her work with such names as Carlo Domeniconi, Dusan Bogdanovic, and Juan Falu, Buschmann’s style on stage is always a fusion of various genres and geographies.
MUSIC | Moddi
📅 January 18th
Having recorded his first album with producer Valgeir Sigurdsson, it wasn’t long until Moddi was nominated for the Norwegian Grammy Award in two categories. After performing at Europe’s most important festivals, Moddi also toured Europe with Angus and Julia Stone. The acoustic folk pop musician’s three albums have been recommended by influential music critics such as Pitchfork and Q.
OPERA | Royal Opera House: The Nutcracker
📅 January 19th
Presented by the Royal Opera House via live broadcast, Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffman’s short story The Nutcracker, with the music of renowned composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is one of the world’s most famous ballets. Don’t miss out on this chance to see this winter classic in all its glory.
MUSIC | Kid Francescoli & Camp Claude
📅 January 20th
French pop guru Kid Francescoli and rock music renegade Camp Claude will take the stage together for this special performance. With a clear inspiration from famous musicians such as Air and Grandaddy, Kid Francescoli’s performances always manage to bewitch its admirers, while Camp Claude mixes electronic, pop, and rock elements for a unique sound.
MUSIC | Moğollar
📅 January 21st
One of Turkey’s legendary psychedelic bands, Moğollar have released more than 50 albums in their 45 years in the industry. In 1971, the band received the Grand Prix du Disque by the Académie Charles-Cros, an award that was also later presented to such famous musicians as Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd.
MONDAY, JANUARY 23rd – TUESDAY, JANUARY 31st
THEATER | Köpeklerin İsyan Günü
📅 January 24th
Make sure to see this collaboration between the São Luiz Teatro Municipal and the Istanbul Theater Festival. After having been performed in Lisbon, the play Köpeklerin İsyan Günü (The Dog’s Rebellion Day) comes to Istanbul with a plot that revolves around a modern interpretation of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.
MUSIC | Cyminology Meets Martin Stegner And Korhan Erel
📅 January 25th
Cyminology, which has won countless awards for successfully blending literature and contemporary music, creates a unique style inspired by Rumi, Persian rhythms, and jazz. Don’t miss out on this unique performance where Cyminology will be accompanied by Berlin Philharmonic’s viola musician Martin Stegner and computer musician and improviser Korhan Erel.
MUSIC | Pierre Bensusan
📅 January 25th
Known as the Mozart of guitar, Bensusan has won the Independent Music Award, Près de Paris, and the Montreux Festival’s Rose d’Or in his successful career. Having moved to Paris from Algeria at the age of seven, Bensusan taught himself the guitar by the age of 11 and went on to become one of the most important world music artists in the field of contemporary acoustic guitar.
MUSIC | Crippled Black Phoenix
📅 January 27th
An English music group that has successfully combined post-rock and progressive rock, Crippled Black Phoenix has already released nine successful studio albums as well as many singles. The band’s live performances are unique and experimental because of the combined use of both modern and Victorian-era instruments.
WORKSHOP | Chef Claudio’s Secret Recipes
📅 January 28th
Join Chef Claudio in a special Italian food workshop where he divulges the recipes to his most signature dishes. On the menu are smoked cheese and eggplant wraps, fresh trofie pasta with pesto sauce, and Sicilian-style almond and cinnamon sorbet.
MUSIC | Raphaella Smits
📅 January 31st
With her unique musical style, including an eight-stringed guitar and an array of historic instruments, Raphaella Smits has been touring the world as well as working as an educator. Join Smits, who was the first woman to win Spain’s famous Tarrega Guitar Competition, for this special Istanbul performance.