Vienna/Istanbul, 29 May 2013 Press release

"From Amadeus to Zawinul" – Gala concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Istanbul

Vienna/Istanbul, 29 May 2013 – The series of events organised to mark the 50th anniversary of the Austrian Cultural Forum Istanbul begins with a gala concert under the title "From Amadeus to Zawinul" on May 30th, 2013 in the garden of the Cultural Forum that is located directly at the Bosphorus strait. All the 14 members of the orchestra, that has been brought together specifically for this concert, either received grants at the beginning of their careers to study music in Austria or had their first public appearance at the Austrian Cultural Forum. Since then they have all become well-known professional musicians and a testimony to the partnership-style of Austrian cultural activities in Turkey.

"The 50th anniversary of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Istanbul is a walking advertisement for the sustainable partnership established over the years between Austria and Turkey, a partnership that has overcome many economic and political changes in both countries in the course of the past decades", Austrian Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger said. "Over the past five decades, Austrian artists from all the various cultural disciplines have been able to count on the support of Austria's cultural policy and its representatives in Turkey and created a valuable and lively network."

The music programme for the anniversary concert has been compiled by pianist and composer Sabri Tuluğ Tırpan who studied music in Vienna. Some of the pieces are special adaptations. Mozart, Gulda, Zawinul, Piazzola and pieces by Tırpan himself underline the rich diversity of arts, from classical to contemporary, which the Austrian Cultural Forum Istanbul has brought to Turkey over the past fifty years. In 2012, the Austrian Cultural Forum organised 120 events with 274 artists in more than 20 locations throughout the country and counted some 35,000 visitors.

One of the best known Turkish cultural institutions has a special token of appreciation in store for the Cultural Forum: On 1 July 2013, the renowned and largest international jazz festival of Turkey – the IKSV Jazz Festival – will stage the opening ceremony of its 20th festival season at the Cultural Forum. The next birthday event will be held on 14 September 2013, when "Kultur für alle Sinne" will bring workshops, films, street art, jazz by Café Drechsler and a sizzling club night to the garden of the Cultural Forum with the Turkish live band Babazula and surprise DJs from Austria.

The beginnings of the Austrian Cultural Forum's success story are closely linked to the Austrian school in Istanbul, the St. Georgs-Kolleg. In the early 1960s, teachers of this school organised the first events in Istanbul. In 1963, Prof. Johann Erich Kasper was appointed the first official Austrian cultural representative in Istanbul.  In 1994, the Cultural Forum was relocated to the building of the Austrian General Consulate in the Yeniköy mansion. The ballroom of this neoclassical building located on the banks of the Bosphorus is said to be one of the finest concert halls in Istanbul.

For more detailed information on the anniversary programme please refer to the website of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Istanbul,, or the Facebook page of the Cultural Forum at

Austrian Cultural Forum Istanbul
Phone: +90 (0) 212 364 84 15
E-mail: istanbul-kf(at)