Edinburgh recovers a flash of flair

Edinburgh recovers a flash of flair


norman lebrecht

March 18, 2015

After a decade of almost unrelieved mediocrity, this summer’s festival shows some signs of imagination.

The opening concert – John Adams choral work Harmonium – will be flashed in animation onto the outer walls of Usher Hall.

The Festival Chorus gets a spotlight to itself.

Original Mozart productions are being trawled in from Budapest and Berlin.

Sylvie Guillem has a dance project.

A BBC orchestra will play late-night gigs.

The theatre programme has real coherence.

The new director is Fergus Linehan.

Click here for full details. Good start.

usher hall


  • Michael says:

    I cannot believe you left out Lang Lang’s Bartok 2 with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen on 19th August and his solo recital (Bach Italian Concerto – Tchaikovsky The Seasons – Chopin Four Scherzos) 2 days later!

  • Gregor Tassie says:

    Disagree with your comment about the last decade, at least the last director was a musician and he constructed some very interesting concert programmes. Not too happy with this year’s programme, seems to be cutting corners re. money, why should top class orchestras like the Budapest Festival be a pit orchestra? Waste of talents here and no interesting opera or ballet. Disappointed.

    • MWnyc says:

      The Budapest Festival Orchestra is the pit band because its founder and director, Ivan Fischer, is both the stage director and the conductor of the production.

      (They brought the show to New York a couple of summers ago; it is excellent.)

  • Gav says:

    a decade of ‘mediocrity’? the queens hall morning concerts (to name just one strand) would be the envy of any festival. and the ticket prices are a fraction of some other festivals …

  • James Alexander says:

    Are you kidding? Last director was a musician? Who could have told. Uninspired guff. His opening night (headmaster-like) speeches were killers. amateur and embarrassing.
    Norman there may be “a flash” but sadly one isn’t enough. This programming is same old same old pool of talent with a couple of interesting productions thrown in but no seismic shift to write home about or indeed mark a new tenure or gear change. Sad really.

  • Chris Pinelo says:

    Reminds me of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s LUMENOCITY.

  • Robert Roy says:

    Quite agree! I live in Edinburgh and have been to many thrilling concerts in the last ten years. Oh, and at least we have a proper concert hall unlike another major cities I could mention…