Since 1947, this large-scale international performing arts festival has been held in the UK’s Scottish capital of Edinburgh over three weeks every summer. Attention this year focuses on the change in directors from Sir Jonathan Mills to the 43-year old Irish director Fergus Linehan. Linehan has served as director of the Dublin Dance Festival from 1999 to 2004, and from 2004 to 2009 he led the Sydney Festival as director. Until 2012 he served as director of the contemporary music department of the Sydney Opera House, bringing to its programming that ranged from jazz and pop music to classical. According to the Guardian
newspaper, when Linehan took over the festival’s directorship, he said that he wanted to introduce more pop musicians to the audience. Highlights of this years festival program include Robert Lepage directing his new work 887
, director Simon McBurney’s production The Encounter
, and remarkable German director Herbert Fritsch’s staging of the wordless Dada play Mermel Mermel
along with live music performances by Franz Ferdinand and Sufjan Stevens.
The classical music program includes performances by invited artists including conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen and Iván Fischer. Fischer, the musical director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra will conduct the concert performance version of The Marriage of Figaro
. Until now it has been festival policy to avoid programming music that has already been performed in Scotland, but under the new policy repetitions of good performances will be actively programmed. One example on this year’s program is a restaging of the joint production of Dragon
between the National Theatre of Scotland and the Tianjin Children’s Art Theatre.
The Edinburgh International Festival was founded in 1947 in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh in the north of the UK and is held over a period of three weeks beginning in early August each year. Its programs as an international arts festival cover the fields of opera, music, theatre and dance. Its programs cover the fields of classical music, theatre, opera, dance and visual art. From 2006 to 2014, the Festival Director and Chief Executive was Australian Jonathan Mills, who also was experienced as the Melbourne Festival director.
The program for the 65th festival in 2011 was organized with an Asia focus and some 140 events featuring both traditional and contemporary Asian performing arts were held at 11 venues around the city of Edinburgh.
That year the music festival featured performances by Indonesia’s Royal Yogyakrata Gamelan troupe, the sitar musician Ravi Shankar, sarod musician Amjad Ali Khan and other traditional Asian music, as well as a lineup of classical music performances by Asian musicians, including Chinese guitarist Xeufei Yang, Singapore’s Tang Quartet, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Chung Myung-Whun and the rising young Chinese pianist Lee Yundi among others. Also, Canada’s Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Britain’s Arditti Quartet will perform contemporary music by the Japanese composers Toru Takemitsu and Toshio Hosokawa. On the theater program, there was a world premiere of an international joint production with Japanese and American actors performing a play based of novelist Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-up Bird Chronicles
directed by video artist Stephen Earnhart and using video technology from Japan and the U.S. From Japan, photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto was invited to give an exhibition of his work.
From 2015, the festival’s new director is Fergus Linehan, who has served as director of the Dublin Dance Festival and the Sydney Festival as director.