The Edinburgh International Festival is a prestigious annual festival that brings all genres of performing arts together. Starting on the 9th August and continuing until the 2nd September, the Edinburgh International Festival 2012 ties in perfectly with the Olympics and the London 2012 Festival, embodying the celebration of culture that will take place over the upcoming summer months.

 

Edinburgh International Festival 2012 Programme

Offering a wide variety of performances from music and art, to theatre, talks and workshops, the Edinburgh Festival programme is lined with a wonderful list of artists from around the world, including but not limited to: the Philharmonic Orchestra, Trio Zimmermann, Portuguese pianist Maria Joao Pires and Brazilian cellist Antonio Meneses, Concerto Caledonia, Welsh soprano singer Rebecca Evans, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Hebrides Ensemble and Synergy Vocals, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontessi, David Daniels and The English Concert, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, English tenor singer Toby Spence, Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky and the London Symphony orchestra.
 
A mix of both contemporary and classic art forms, some of the festival highlights are:
 
“A Mass of Life” Opening Concert: the opening concert of the Edinburgh International Festival pays homage to a joyous composition ‘A Mass of Life’ by British composer Frederick Delius. Written in celebration of life, the grandiose choral and orchestral work is considered to be largest concert Delius ever wrote. Conducted by Sir Andrew Davis the piece will be performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra joined by the Edinburgh Festival Chorus and four internationally renowned vocal soloists: Anna Christy (Soprano), Helen Stephen (Mezzo soprano), Robert Murray (Tenor) and Hanno Müller-Brachmann (Bass baritone).
 
Cinderella: the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra bring the classic children’s story tale to life with an unusual contemporary twist. 
 
Hora: a celebration of movement, grace, energy, agility and technique, Hora is a unique contemporary dance performance.
 
Julliard Dance:  three vibrant, dynamic performances from the students of the acclaimed New York Dance School, Juilliard Dance combines elegant ballet poses, energetic rhythmic sequences and the passion of Spanish flamenco.
 
European Union Youth Orchestra: formed by approximately 140 players aged between 14 and 24 from all 27 EU countries, the EUYO will perform a challenging and varied programme consisting of Busoni’s Concerto for piano and orchestra, one of the grandest piano concertos ever written, Debussy’s Nocturnes and Richard Causton’s new music piece “Twenty-Seven Heavens”.
 
Gagaku: The Gagaku concert is a unique opportunity to experience the synergy of Japanese music and dance performed by Japan’s highest acclaimed musicians from the famous Imperial Household in Tokyo. Gagaku is the name for the oldest type of Japanese classical music occasionally providing accompaniment to a Japanese classical dance and is usually performed only at the private ceremonies of the Japanese Imperial Family. 
 
Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester: well-known for bringing together the best of Europe’s young musicians, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester is one of the largest youth orchestras in the world and customarily performs large-scale compositions. Programme includes Wagner and Mahler.
 
NVA Speed of Light: an interactive piece of art, Arthur’s Seat, the highest peak of Edinburgh’s group of hills, will become a fluctuating movement of light in a choreographed act of mass of hundreds of runners take to the hill wearing specially designed “light suits”. Members of the public will also be able to become part of a “walking audience” carrying portable light sources.
 
The Virgin Money Fireworks Concert: the grand finale to the Edinburgh Festival, the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert is a spectacular display of pyrotechnics over the Edinburgh Castle, cleverly choreographed to accompany music performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Taking place at 9:00pm on 2nd September, tickets must be purchased in advance.
 
Other highlights include: “2008: Macbeth”, a modern cinematic version of Shakespeare’s renowned play, a variety of musical renditions of classical music such as Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite”, Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Wagner’s opera “Tristan und Isolde” along with a handful of workshops and an interesting series of inspirational talks called ‘Encounters’, ‘Reflections’ or ‘Conversations’. 
 
A helpful tip:  Unsold tickets for performances at Greyfriars Kirk, Traverse Theatre, King’s Theatre and at Lowland Hall at the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston will go on sale one hour prior to the start of the performance.
 
The Edinburgh International Festival’s official website: www.eif.co.uk.