It’s an early summer evening at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, the maze-like warren of alleyways crammed with shops that has been the city’s trading hub for more than half a millennium. This time, however, there are no traders’ voices beckoning travellers to come and haggle over the price of a carpet. Nor is the air filled with the pungent whiff of oriental spices being offered to passers-by. As the evening light streams through the upper arch windows, it is music that resonates through the bazaar; oriental wind instruments such as the Turkish ney and Armenian duduk, the lute-like oud and the Balkan accordion. For the first time in its history as an epicentre of trade and commerce in Istanbul, the bazaar is being used for a concert in the prestigious annual summer Istanbul Music Festival run by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), the city’s premier musical event since its creation in 1973. It’s a constant source of frustration to music lovers in Istanbul that the Turkish ...

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