Young musicians come out to play with the Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh young people set to enjoy the world’s greatest musicians for free.

The Edinburgh International Festival is launching a new initiative offering young musicians free and discounted tickets for Festival concerts, where they can enjoy the talents of the internationally-acclaimed, professional musicians performing in Edinburgh this summer.

The Young Musician’s Passport is a pilot project for 2013 in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council and is available to every child in Edinburgh receiving instrumental or vocal tuition. The passport allows them to attend any Festival Concert at the Usher Hall, completely free of charge and bring up to two adults along for half price.

The scheme aims to give young people learning to play an instrument the chance to experience the thrill of a live concert and encourage their own learning and engagement with music and performance.

Festival 2013’s Usher Hall programme features a diverse mix of traditional classical and contemporary music performances. Passport holders can choose from 23 concerts and see some of the world’s greatest musicians including Amsterdam’s fabulous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the celebrated Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, world famous tenor Ian Bostridge or the internationally renowned Brooklyn-based collective Bang on a Can All-Stars.

The passport also entitles holders to tickets to see the Philip Glass Ensemble and soloists performing live at the Edinburgh Playhouse, to accompany the 1946 classic film La Belle at la Bête (Beauty and the Beast).

Councillor Paul Godzik, Convener for Education, Children and Families, said: ‘The passport is a great idea and I would encourage as many youngsters as possible to sign up to this fantastic initiative. It will allow some of our most aspiring musicians the chance to see internationally-acclaimed musical performances and inspire them to develop their skills to become the musicians of the future.’

Hilde Metzger, a young flautist in S2 at Portobello High School said: ‘I’m so excited that I’ll be able to hear fabulous concerts for free! This is an amazing offer.’

Jackie Westbrook, Marketing & Communications Director at the Edinburgh International Festival said: ‘Edinburgh has a fantastic system of music education for young people. We want to complement that by encouraging young musicians to come to a Festival concert and experience the unique excitement of a professional performance. We hope they discover that concert-going can enrich not only their musical development, but many other aspects of their lives, following in the footsteps of many generations of Edinburgh music lovers before them.’ 

Young people can register for the scheme via the Festival website at or by completing and returning a registration form which is available directly from their school and from the Festival Centre at The Hub.

Each passport holder will receive a special pack which includes a membership card which can be used to book tickets by calling the Young Musician’s Passport hotline on 0131 473 2089 or in person by visiting Hub Tickets in the Hub on Castlehill, where Festival staff can offer help with choosing what to see and explaining more about the Festival programme.

Additional information:

Young Musician's Passport

To register for a passport, young people should be learning an instrument, or taking part in a music group, ensemble or choir and attend a school in Edinburgh, either at primary or secondary level. The Young Musician’s Passport is open to pupils from both state schools and the independent sector in Edinburgh.

The Passport entitles holders to free tickets to as many concerts during the Festival at the Usher Hall as they would like to attend, plus tickets for the Philip Glass Ensemble at the Edinburgh Playhouse. The Passport also entitles holders to buy two adult tickets at half price for each event they have selected a free ticket for.

Young Musician Passport free tickets and discount offers are subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers.

Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh International Festival 2013 runs from 9 August – 1 September.

The Edinburgh International Festival continues to present the best in contemporary and classic work from world leading artists and remains one of the most diverse, exciting and accessible events of its kind, with ticket prices beginning at just £6. Over 2200 artists from 35 nations gather this year to share the live experience of theatre, dance, opera and music with audiences from approximately a third of the world’s nations.

Visit for programme information and for further press resources.

City of Edinburgh Council - Instrumental Music Service

Currently around 5,000 pupils receive free tuition on a wide range of instruments through the Instrumental Music Service. Every school offers high quality tuition and performance opportunities from P4/5 through to S6. Highly skilled instructors teach in small groups and individual lessons, and contribute to a wide range of school and central orchestras, choirs and ensembles. Lessons and concerts provide opportunities for achievement and attainment. They also contribute to the musical ethos of schools and the cultural landscape of Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh International Festival is supported by The City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland.

Photo shows Cllr Godzik with young musicians. Courtesy of the Edinburgh International Festival and photographer Eoin Carey. 

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