Benedetti to direct EIF

March 1, 2022 | By More

Violinist to take over from Linehan in October

The world-renowned Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti is the Festival Director designate of the Edinburgh International Festival and will take up the role in October this year.

Benedetti will become both the first Scottish and the first female Festival Director since the Festival began in 1947 when she takes over from Irishman Fergus Linehan on October 1, 2022.

Nicola Benedetti. Pic: Franz Galo

Nicola Benedetti said: “This festival was founded on principles of reconciliation and the ideals of art transcending political and cultural fracture.

“Following in the footsteps of the wonderful achievements of Fergus Linehan and his predecessors, I will uphold these values and greatly look forward to serving this festival, its mission of cultural exchanges, and the people of Scotland.”

Benedetti takes the role following Linehan’s eight-year tenure, during which time he has expanded the programme of leading theatre, dance, orchestral and chamber music ensembles.

Linehan opened his first festival in 2015 as he meant to go on, with The Harmonium Project, a large, free, public outdoor event which saw digitally animated artwork projected onto the front of the Usher Hall, set to music.

Leith Theatre

In later years, he took the free events around the city and added music genres previously underrepresented in the Festival, opening up of Leith Theatre as a festival venue in the process.

Keith Skeoch, the Festival’s Chair of the Board of Trustees welcomed Benedetti as both the first woman and the first Scottish director of the Edinburgh International Festival.

He said: In many ways she reflects the spirit of this festival; internationally recognised and respected but Scottish to her core, she’s dedicated to advocating world-class music making and innovating new ways to bring it to audiences.

“As an artist, her string of collaborators reads like a who’s who of the world of classical music and as an educator she has reached tens of thousands worldwide. I have no doubt that she will bring a wealth of new ideas to the organisation and build on Fergus’ exceptional work from the last eight years.”

Alongside her role as Festival Director, Benedetti will continue to perform internationally and to lead the Benedetti Foundation. According to the EIF, she will naturally be more selective with her engagements in order to ensure she fulfils each of her commitments.

The EIF celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2022 when it will run from Friday 5 to Monday 29 August. Further details www.eif.co.uk.

ENDS

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