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Orchestre de Paris set to visit 2019 Edinburgh International Festival

Announcement made as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visits the Philharmonie de Paris with International Festival Director Fergus Linehan.

Today the Edinburgh International Festival revealed that the Orchestre de Paris will perform at the Usher Hall as part of the 2019 International Festival.

The orchestra will give two concerts conducted by Music Director Daniel Harding, as part of an International Festival residency in August 2019. Tickets go on sale in March along with the Festival’s full 2019 programme.

A regular International Festival visitor, UK conductor Daniel Harding has been Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris since 2016. The residency programme includes Beethoven’s ‘Symphony No.6’, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, and the great French composer Hector Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, which sees the Orchestra joined by acclaimed French soloist Antoine Tamestit on viola.

The announcement was made during a visit to Paris by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to promote the diplomatic, economic and cultural links between Scotland and France. The First Minister visited the spectacular home of the Orchestre de Paris, the Philharmonie de Paris concert hall, with International Festival Director Fergus Linehan, where she met with officials and attended an orchestral rehearsal.

The meeting celebrated the close ties between Scottish and French artists, and follows a special event held last year to mark the launch of the 2018 International Festival programme at Paris’s Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, attended by Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop.

French artists have made regular visits to the International Festival since it was established to bring together artists and audiences from across the world, beginning with performances by the Orchestre des Concerts Colonne in in 1947, right up to the Orchestre de Paris’s visit this year.

International Festival Director Fergus Linehan said: ‘We are thrilled to welcome Daniel Harding and the Orchestre de Paris back to the International Festival this August. The Festival’s relationship with France is strong and longstanding, with leading French artists such as Pierre Boulez and Juliette Binoche, and ensembles including Opera de Lyon and Théâtre du Soleil, having performed here in the past. The Orchestre de Paris last visited the International Festival in 1985, and we look forward to sharing their return with audiences from Scotland and all over the world’.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It’s fantastic to see the Edinburgh International Festival and France’s largest symphonic orchestra the Orchestre de Paris joining together for what I am sure will be one of the highlights of the 2019 programme. This is the perfect example of the strong cultural links that exist between Scotland and France which I will be looking to build on during my visit to Paris this week.”