Istanbul set for music festivals

NEW YORK -- Istanbul, the de facto capital of Turkish culture, is set to host the 30th version of its popular annual music festival this summer from June 8 to July 1.

The nearly monthlong International Istanbul Music Festival will feature orchestras, chamber music groups and contemporary and traditional musicians, along with a "tango opera" performed by the Maria de Buenos Aires troupe from Argentina.

Other international artists include the Camerata Salzburg from Austria, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra of Switzerland, the London Philharmonic and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Chorus.

The music festival will be followed later this summer by the ninth annual International Istanbul Jazz Festival -- scheduled to run July 5 to 20 -- and the eighth Istanbul Biennial art show, set for September through November.

For more information, visit the music festival's Web site, at www.istfest.org/eng/indexeng.htm, or contact the Turkish Tourist Office in Washington at (202) 612-6800 or in New York at (212) 687-2194, or visit www.tourismturkey.org.

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