THE HARMONIUM PROJECT DRAWS APPROXIMATELY 19,500 FOR ITS OPENING NIGHT

The Edinburgh International Festival opened with The Harmonium Project, a free outdoor animated performance that lit up the city’s key concert hall, to celebrate 50 years of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus.

 Approximately 19,500 watched a series of projected artworks, designed by 59 Productions, on the Usher Hall whilst listening to John Adams’ mesmerising choral work Harmonium. 

 The music was recorded by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, conducted by Peter Oundjian.

 2015 is Festival Director Fergus Linehan’s first programme. Fergus’ previous roles include the Sydney Festival, Dublin Theatre Festival and Australia’s Vivid LIVE.

 The Festival runs until Monday 31 August and welcomes more than 2,300 artists from 39 nations to perform in Scotland’s magnificent capital city.

 Musical highlights over the weekend at the Usher Hall include the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Donald Runnicles, and Celtic Dialogues with Jordi Savall, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill.

 The Queens Hall series opens with the Nash Ensemble, whilst Rudolf Buchbinder beginning his cycle of Beethoven piano sonatas at the Playfair Library Hall.

 Chilly Gonzales and the Kaiser Quartett launch the Russian Standard Vodka Hub Sessions series.

 Festival commissions opening over weekend include, The Encounter by Simon McBurney and Complicite and Antigone, by Ivo van Hove with Juliette Binoche.

 Dance legend Sylvie Guillem will perform her final touring production Life in Progress and Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s new opera, The Last Hotel opens.

 Throughout the month there is an array of big international stars across the performing arts, and new areas of programming include more diverse genres of music and family focused shows.

 Ticket sales are strong across the entire programme, from dance to theatre to music and opera. With this year’s scheduling including many shows with longer runs, there are still plenty of tickets available.

 Fergus Linehan, Edinburgh International Festival Director said,

“It is now time for the team at the Edinburgh International Festival to take a back seat and leave audiences in the hands of the thousands of extraordinary artists that are arriving in our city to light up our theatres and concert halls. Here's to the courage & generosity of all of all those up onstage and thank you from all of us in the shadows”.

For more information on the Edinburgh International Festival go to: www.eif.co.uk

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