EIF director Jonathan Mills knighted

Jun 15 2013 | By More

Mills knighted in Queen’s birthday honours list

Jonathan Mills launches Edinburgh International Festival 2013

Jonathan Mills launches EIF 2013. Photo Eoin Carey

By Thom Dibdin

Jonathan Mills, director of the Edinburgh International Festival, has been knighted in the Queen’s birthday honours for services to culture.

Sir Jonathan took up the post in the autumn of 2006, having been something of a surprise when he was announced earlier that year. The Sydney-born composer, who has dual British and Australian nationality, had previous run the Melbourne Festival.

Commenting on his knighthood, he said he is: “very, very grateful and honoured to have been included, especially this year given that it is the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, and she has been the patron of the Festival since its inception.”

He added: “I know these honours are given to an individual, but it is a misrepresentation to suggest that any individual does good work on their own. The people I work with deserve this honour as much as I do. I feel very proud that the festival has remained relevant and has remained important.”

A trained composer, Sir Jonathan’s themed festivals have courted controversy from some quarters, but he has used them as a device to both explore cultures and, more pragmatically, to build sponsorship links with other countries. His last festival will be his eighth in 2014.

Other Scottish cultural figures to be mentioned in the honours include Richard Findlay, who receives a CBE for services to the Arts and Creative Industries in Scotland. He is the National Theatre of Scotland’s founding Chairman.

The actor, director and playwright David Haig, whose new play Pressure will play the Lyceum next year, has been awarded an MBE.

There is also a knighthood for Howard Panter, the co-founder, joint chief executive and creative director of the Ambassador Theatre Group which owns the Edinburgh Playhouse.

The actor Tony Robinson, best known from his role as Baldrick in Blackadder and with Channel 4’s Time Team, has been knighted for political and public service. He is credited with having helped modernise Equity during his four year stint from 1996 to 2000 as the vice chair of the actors union.

* This post was edited on Tuesday 18 June. The Richard Findlay honoured with a CBE used to be chair at the Lyceum and is not the same Richard Findlay who is the theatre’s current vice chair and company secretary.


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  1. Chris Darroch says:

    The arts become a parody of themselves. Jonathon receives his 30 pieces of silver in advance of muzzling the arts freedom of expression. During a time in history when the Scots people need to be informed more than at any other time.

    Sinful, shameful, twisted.