Concerts from the International Festival archives and a new collaborative project that merges spectacle, performance and participation.
For over 70 years, each August the Edinburgh International Festival has welcomed artists and audiences from Scotland, the UK and over the world. In 2020, we must put this to one side as we ensure our readiness to play our part in artistic, social and economic recovery. In the meantime, the Festival team has been working hard to explore new and interesting ways to mark the Festival season in a way that will bring some joy to our community, and remind the world of the incredible experience that is the Festival City.
We are currently working with a number of partners on a project we have called The Ghost Lights, a collaboration that merges spectacle, performance and participation. A ghost light is a small, single bulbed light, usually a floor lamp that shines on the dark stage when a theatre or concert hall is closed and unoccupied. It is a symbol that, while the performance is over for now, the building will, once again, be filled with laughter, tears and applause.
The Ghost Lights will incorporate a series of artistic interventions across the city throughout the month of August, letting the world know that the spark of the Festival still burns bright. We look forward to sharing further details on The Ghost Lights over the coming weeks and months.
A further part of these plans, we’re excited to present a series of 15 great Queen’s Hall concerts from the International Festival archives, in association with BBC Radio 3. The series features as part of BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine, which aims to keep the arts alive in the homes of the public during a time when many arts venues and festivals are unable to go ahead with previous plans.
Broadcast from 10-28 August 2020, tune in to hear the following performances
Monday 10 August: From 2009, pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja recreated one of Chopin’s last ever concerts played in a house on Edinburgh’s Queen street in 1848
Tuesday 11 August: Colin Currie & friends joined forces in 2015 for a programme of exhilarating music for two pianists and two percussionists, including works from Bartók and Steve Reich
Wednesday 12 August: Mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly’s recital of opulent songs by Strauss and Debussy from 2015, accompanied by Malcolm Martineau
Thursday 13 August: In a recital from 2018, Nicola Benedetti, accompanied by the world-renowned Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr, showcased a performance of witty and theatrical Baroque works featuring Vivaldi Concerti
Friday 14 August: German singer Andreas Scholl joined pianist Tamar Halperin to deliver a wide-ranging programme of Classical and Romantic song in 2013, from the drama of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden to delightful folk-song settings by Brahms
Monday 17 August: An intimate piano recital from Mikhail Pletnev in 2017 featured an all-Rachmaninov programme including the rarely performed First Piano Sonata
Tuesday 18 August: In 2014, mezzo soprano Anne Sofie von Otter assembled a collection of songs and instrumental music produced or played in Terezín during the Nazi reign of terror. This recital saw her perform them with an ensemble of exceptional colleagues
Wednesday 19 August: Trio Zimmermann performed work by Mozart, Schoenberg and Schubert in their ravishing performance from 2012
Thursday 20 August: Jean-Guihen Queyras, in partnership with Alexandre Tharaud, performed repertoire for piano and cello from Marin Marais and Kodály from their concert in 2011
Friday 21 August: Baritone Florian Boesch brought his provocative account of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin to the Queen’s Hall in 2016 alongside regular collaborator, eminent Lieder pianist Malcolm Martineau
Monday 24 August: Chiaroscuro Quartet contrasted works by Bach, Haydn and Schubert in their concert from 2017
Tuesday 25 August: From 2018, exciting historical keyboard player Ronald Brautigam performed Mendelssohn and Chopin as it would have sounded in the 19th century
Wednesday 26 August: Les Vents Français celebrated French wind music at its elegant, witty best with a recital from 2012 featuring work from Ravel and Taffanel
Thursday 27 August: A performance from Dunedin Consort and Louise Alder in 2016 filled with works from Handel, including his dramatic cantata Il delirio amoroso
Friday 28 August: Christian Tetzlaff and Leif Ove Andsnes presented a wide-ranging recital of Violin Sonatas by Janáček, Mozart and Shostakovich in 2017