Bodrum Peninsula: annual Music Festivals

‘If music be the food of love, play on.’

Little did Shakespeare know when he wrote those famous words that they could’ve been written specifically about the Bodrum Peninsula. The Bodrum Peninsula is rightly famous for being one of Europe’s best villa holiday destinations: it’s got everything a holidaymaker could want – sun, sand, culture and history. It’s one of the most cosmopolitan places you’re ever likely to visit. What visitors are perhaps not aware of is Bodrum’s association with the arts, particularly music. Each year Bodrum hosts a series of music festivals which attract some of the world’s leading artists and performers. If you love culture and music, then Bodrum is definitely the place to visit.

Gümüslük Classical Music Festival

Whilst the small fishing village of Gümüslük might not be known as an obvious villa holiday destination, it is renowned for hosting one of Europe’s best classical music festivals. Visitors come from all corners of the globe to attend the Gümüslük Classical Music Festival. They come to hear performances by some of the world’s leading performers and to listen to recitals and performances by some of the best emerging artists. The festival is held in various locations throughout July and September. In the past it has been held in some unlikely settings like stone quarries: that might sound odd, but by all accounts the acoustics are fantastic and they simply add the overall ambience and atmosphere. The festival was first held in 2004, and it’s fair to say that it has since established itself as Turkey’s best known music festival and put Gümüslük firmly on the map.

Turgutreis International Music Festival

The Gümüslük classical music festival arguably appeals to a more elite and rarefied audience: however, the Turgutreis International music festival aims to bring the beauty of classical music to the masses. Music magazine, Andante, believes the International music festival is Turkey’s best classical music festival. Held in July at Turgutreis Marina, the five day festival features a variety of different orchestras and solo performers. Although there are numerous recitals throughout the festival showcasing various instruments, violin and piano recitals have proved to be the most popular. In its nine year history the festival has attracted star performers from Spain, Russia, Germany and Azerbaijan. The 2013 festival is eagerly anticipated and it is expected to attract audiences of more than 18,000 people.

Bodrum Jazz Festival

The Bodrum Jazz festival is held annually and always attracts a large and enthusiastic audience. If you’re a lover of jazz then this is definitely the festival for you. The three day festival attracts top artists from all over the world and has proved to be a real magnet for jazz aficionados. The festival is held at the Marina Yacht club, and is organised by the Association of Karya Art and Culture. The group was founded in 2008 and is dedicated to bringing culture and art to the Bodrum region.

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