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This year the International Festival marks its 70th anniversary. Significant moments from the 70 year history are marked throughout the programme. You can see some of the events below.
Since our first edition in 1947 we have served an international family of artists and audiences through an annual celebration of artistic excellence and innovation. Each year, artists from every corner of the world bring stories and music from their communities and unite around a shared sense of humanity, promoting understanding, tolerance and cooperation.
In that first year the Lord Provost of Edinburgh spoke of his hope that the event would ‘provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit’. The International Festival would focus on common ground, on undisputed greatness and in so doing would make itself a safe place to come together. This was most symbolically achieved with the reuniting of Jewish conductor Bruno Walter with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
This anniversary programme marks not only a remarkable history of iconic performances, but also the partnerships and people who have contributed to our past and who continue to shape our future. We re-examine the ideas and ideals of our founders as they resonate today – what it means to be a European, how we connect with our communities, and what it might mean to be a citizen of the world.
This International Festival has always been far more than a collection of performances – it is a gathering of people, a celebration of generosity, a gift to the world from the world.