The Vienna Philharmonic, one of the world’s best symphonic orchestras, was in the Aegean province of İzmir on Tuesday for an eagerly anticipated appearance as part of this year’s İzmir International Festival.
The orchestra, under Swedish maestro Herbert Blomstedt, took to the stage at the Agora in the ancient site of Ephesus for Tuesday’s concert, which was watched by thousands of avid classical music fans that also included around 1,600 passengers of a cruise ship which had docked at the Aegean tourist hub of Kuşadası. The cruise ship, Mein Schiff 1, is on a special tour that travels to locations the Vienna Philharmonic plays on its current tour: İstanbul, İzmir, Malta and Athens, the Anatolia news agency reported on Tuesday.
The orchestra performed a program devoted in its entirety to Austrian composer Franz Schubert -- his symphonies nos. 7 and 8, also known as the “Unfinished Symphony” -- in the İzmir concert, held on a specially designed 2,000-square-meter platform at the Ephesus’ Agora, Anatolia said.
Tuesday’s concert came one day after the 160-year-old orchestra’s İstanbul performance, which took place at the Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center. Proceeds from both concerts were donated to the Ephesus Foundation, an İstanbul-based charitable organization aimed at protecting the ancient city of Ephesus.