50 years of cooperation in the ideal of bringing an artistic identity to Istanbul

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As Borussan, you were a supporter of the Istanbul Music Festival from the beginning and you are also the main sponsor of this year. Going back to the beginning, your father Asim Kokabiyik was one of the founders of İKSV and they came together to form a common ideology. What was the norm that united them?
In fact, it was the ideals of change, transformation and bringing an artistic identity to the city that brought them together. Bringing industries from different branches of the country and abroad and bringing them to the city and its people is an effort that requires dedication. 50 years ago, our founder Asım Kocabıyik took the initiative to establish the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and the Arts and to combine the Istanbul Festival with the audience to realize such an ideal. Of course, their friendship also played a big role in uniting them around this ideology.
Asım Kocabıyik and Nejat Eczacıbaşı met in 1965 while working at the Rotary Club of Istanbul. At the time, Nejat Ekzakibashi was looking for supporters who could help his work in the industry, and he expressed that he wanted to see my father, Asim Kokabaik, with him. At the suggestion of Eczacıbaşı, who said, “An operator also plays a role in such an initiative, it is beneficial”, my father accepted to participate in the management of the foundation and began to support music and art.
The Istanbul Festival, founded by Asim Kokabiyik and Nejat Ekzakibasi, first met the people of Istanbul in 1973, the 50th anniversary of the founding of our republic. Prior to this date, it was formally established in 1971 as the Istanbul Culture and Art Foundation.

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This collaboration also showcases Asim’s culture and art perspectives and perspectives. Do you see your father as a kind of support for culture and art?
Asim Kokabiyik said, “I am grateful to this country. “I’ve worked my whole life to pay for it,” he said. Borussia’s vision was not limited to the areas in which it operates … it supported and encouraged education and, in particular, culture and art. The most important condition for him to get old was education. He founded the Asim Kokabiyik Culture and Education Foundation in 1992 with an emphasis on education. It has given an institutional character to his work in this case. The Foundation continues its activities under the Borusan Kokabeik Foundation in a broad framework covering education, music and visual arts, and preserves Asim Kokabeik’s greatest legacy.
Ahmed Kokabeek, chairman of the Borussan Holding Board, founded the Borussan tradition in 1997 with inspiration from Asim Kokabeek and his love for music. He has continued this approach. As the next generation, we continue our efforts to bring the industry to a wider audience.

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You have been a supporter of the Istanbul Music Festival from the very beginning, but at the same time, with the foundation you have laid, you are one of the most important patrons of culture and art. With the Borussia Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, you give concerts and record albums in Turkey and several centers around the world. Borusan Music House continues the concert as scheduled. With Borussan Contemporary, you support contemporary art. These are fine, but do you want to do more?
Benefiting our country and society, that’s actually our biggest goal … We think it’s important to support education, culture and industry. Spreading the art and making it more accessible … আমাদের Our long-term partnership with KSV, our efforts as Borusan Sanat to bring the art to a wider audience on digital channels during the epidemic, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, Season Concert Borus House. We will continue to do concerts in the future. We will continue to represent our country abroad with our team, participate in important festivals and share the same stage with valuable artists. With Borusan Contemporary, we organize exhibitions inspired by the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection and try to encourage new art production. We are leading the way, especially in the new media industry. Our biggest goal is to make these initiatives sustainable and accessible in terms of results and reach more people …

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Can’t forget the opening concert of BIPO’s Salzburg Festival
There must be a starting point for what you do … How did your passion for culture and art in the family begin? Do you remember the first time you went to a concert or an exhibition?
I meet classical music at the age of 8-9 by taking private piano lessons. In my high school and high school years, I met Jethro Tull, Genesis, the Queen, thanks to the albums my brother brought from England during the holidays, and they were all groups I listened to with pleasure. We used to go to Pittsburgh Symphony concert when we were in college, the conductor was Andre Pravin. It was during this time that my interest in classical music reached deep.

What was the most memorable concert that left a mark on your mind so far?
The concert that fascinated and excited me the most was the opening concert at the Salzburg Festival on July 25, 2010, to which BIPO was invited. Fazil was the solo pianist at the BIPO concert under the baton of Sascha Goetzel. Participating in one of the most important festivals in the world was exciting for our group. Invited by the Festival Board as the ‘European Capital of Culture Istanbul’s Most Successful Orchestra of 2010’, BIFO has the honor of being the first Turkish orchestra to participate in this famous festival, which is a matter of great pride for us.

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Borusan Festival Concert
Festival Gathering: Borusan Quartet and Xavier de Mastre
Borussan Quartet and Xavier de Maistre, one of today’s leading harpists, will gather at the Süreyya Opera House on June 8 for a concert supported by Borussan Sanat. The concert will feature works by Debussy and Tachikovsky, a passionate composer of the Romantic period, presenting all the depths of 19th-century poetry, Alvarez, who dedicated his life to Barley. (Wednesday 8 June 20.00, Kadıköy Municipality Süreyya Opera)

A premiere: Tan Dunn and Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra
Tan Dan, one of the leading names in contemporary classical music and winner of many prestigious awards, including Grammy and Oscar (Kaplan and Ezderha-crunching Tiger Hidden Dragon), will be a Turkish premiere with his creative treasures across the borders of Eastern and Western traditions. The Double Concerto, a composer whose world premiere was performed by violinist Daniel Hope, pianist Alexei Botvinov and the New Century Chamber Orchestra in May 2021, and is a co-ordinator between the Istanbul Music Festival and the Borussan Sanat. For the first time in Turkey. (Wednesday, June 22, 20.00, Atatর্কrk Cultural Center Turkish Telecom Opera Hall)

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