EIF reveals big stars of classical music for 2015

The Edinburgh International Festival has announced which big stars of classical music will align in summer 2015.

Festival Director, Fergus Linehan unveiled the classical music programme at The Hub this morning. The programme is set to feature 49 concerts and recitals over the course of three weeks.

Highllights will include numerous performances at the Council-owned and managed Usher Hall. The full programme for the Edinburgh International Festival 2015 will be unveiled on Wednesday 18 March, and all tickets to the Festival 2015 will go on sale on Saturday 28 March.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion at City of Edinburgh Council, said: "The Usher Hall has an international reputation for its outstanding acoustics and the venue has staged concerts with some of the biggest names in music for a century.

"It is where it all began for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Council-managed concert hall has been home to the classical music programme since the Festival’s inception in 1947.

"This year, we expect tens of thousands of concertgoers to visit and experience the sounds of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Edinburgh Festival Chorus and London Symphony Orchestra amongst others. It’s sure to be another busy and impressive programme."

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, there will be a rare performance of Sibelius’s Kullervo at the Usher Hall marking his 150th Anniversary, and Berlioz’s epic Grande messe des morts.

Visiting  orchestras include the San Francisco Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, London Symphony Orchestra and ensembles including the St. Lawrence String Quartet and Le Concert Spirituel.

Scottish orchestras and artists will play a central role in the International Festival’s music programme, including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Opera, Donald Runnicles, James MacMillan, Nicola Benedetti, and the Festival debut of Colin Currie.

Young performers include Anne-Sophie Mutter’s virtuosic ensemble, the European Union Youth Orchestra, the National Youth Choir of Scotland and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Festival debuts include Yuja Wang, Vasily Petrenko, Michael Spyres, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Richard Egarr, Lang Lang, and Rudolf Buchbinder.

Musical firsts will include the world premiere of André Previn’s Nonet and the Scottish premiere of Festival co-commission MacMillan’s Second Percussion Concerto.

BBC Radio 3 will broadcast 13 Queen’s Hall concerts live during the Festival and additional concerts in the autumn.

Launching his first classical music programme for the Edinburgh International Festival, Director Fergus Linehan said: "The flame which lit Edinburgh’s reputation as the world’s festival city was the international standard of concert programming and the unique qualities of the Usher Hall.

"Launching the classical music concerts ahead of the full programme, allows us to shine a light on the scale of work and quality of artistry these musicians will bring to Edinburgh this year.

"Over the past 68 years relationships have been forged between artists and festivalgoers that have proved lasting and profound. Audiences have flocked year after year to see artists such as Claudio Abbado and Charles Mackerras and in return have been rewarded with complex and far reaching musical experiences. I want to continue to develop deep and rewarding relationships with musicians such as Iván Fischer and Sir Andrew Davis while exploring artists new to the Festival who have so much to give our audiences.

"In sharing the classical music season for Festival 2015 I am sharing the first step in a line of programming that will evolve over the next five years. In 2015 we are proud to be presenting a programme built around artists who love and understand the Festival and those we feel have a unique contribution to make to Edinburgh’s musical history."

Leonie Bell, Director of Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland, added: "Edinburgh International Festival is exciting, inspiring, challenging and an important part of our cultural lives. The festival creates a buzz of excitement across the city and is an important international platform for the arts. The benefits that it brings to Edinburgh, Scotland and the UK has been well documented, but just as important, is the excitement and the spark that this particular Festival creates. We are delighted to support the Festival as it announces its classical music programme and look forward to further announcements, as the full Festival programme is unveiled over the coming months."

The Edinburgh International Festival is supported by The City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland. Scottish Charity Number SC004694.

Image Credit - Lyn Rees, Violin, all rights reserved CC via Flikr

Image Credit - Lyn Rees, Violin, all rights reserved CC via Flikr 

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