New Edinburgh International Festival director Fergus Linehan has this week revealed the classical music offering for its 2015 edition, which will run from 7-31 August.
Underlining the huge and growing importance of Edinburgh Festival classical music strand, it has been made public a month in advance of the full programme announcement in March.
Among a notably crowd-pleasing list of star turns to be revealed, standout highlights of this summer’s programme will include festival debuts from Lang Lang, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Vasily Petrenko, Rudolph Buchbinder and Yuja Wang; a collaboration between Angela Hewitt and harpsichordist Richard Egarr for the renowned Queen’s Hall chamber series; and a recital of Beehthoven’s Diabelli Variations by Mitsuko Uchida.
Speaking to IAM, Linehan said: ‘If the festival stepped away from the notion of virtuosity and excellence being at its core, that would undermine the entire season. There’s something about the foundation of fine music, and the scale of theatre and dance at the festival, which is the counterpoint to an awful lot of everything else that goes on.’
Visiting orchestras and ensembles include the San Francisco Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, and Le Concert Spirituel.
Fittingly for a year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, choral works also form a key strand running throughout the 2015 edition, with the EFC themselves scheduled to perform Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts and Sibelius’s Kullervo in the latter’s 150th anniversary year.
Although a full opera and musical narrative line-up will be announced next month along with the rest of the staged programme, an early teaser reveals that big-draw titles will include Petrushka as well as Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress.
In his former post as head of contemporary music at Sydney Opera House, Linehan introduced a bold eclecticism to the programming, including multiple forays into jazz and pop. With regards to EIF, he told IAM: ‘I think it’s a question of trying to find a really elegant way of doing it. What you don’t want to do is create a piece of programming that looks like it’s bolted onto the side, placed to a completely different audience, has its own energy to it, and doesn’t actually speak or relate to the programme in any way.
‘You always want to be open to taking risks and look for the new, but that has to work within the spectrum of what exists in Edinburgh.’
The full EIF 2015 programme will be announced on 18 March, and tickets for all events will go on sale from 28 March.