News Story

We asked about your first International Festival concerts and created a playlist of beautiful musical memories.

Earlier this week we launched a new website celebrating extraordinary stories from the 70 years of the International Festival. On social media we asked about your first International Festival concerts and some of you even remembered the exact first piece of music you heard that night! Read some of the memories below and share your own using #EdintFest70 or emailing Now, let's have a stroll down the memory lane as the new playlist unfolds.

One of our favourite stories that embodies the festival spirit came from our colleague Miranda:

"Bizarrely, the first International Festival concert I was at took place before I was even born. My mum used to present the Festival Fireworks broadcast on Radio Forth, as it was then known, and presented 1989’s Fireworks concert while 8 months pregnant! The Scottish Chamber Orchestra played under the baton of Christopher Bell (currently director of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus), and one of the pieces performed was Handel’s Zadok the Priest. It has long been one of my favourite pieces of music written for chorus and orchestra, and, years later, I had the privilege of singing that same piece in the Usher Hall as a member of the National Youth Choir of Scotland, in a performance also conducted by Christopher Bell."

See more memories and listen to the playlist below. Enjoy!

Photo: Contralto Kathleen Ferrier and conductor Bruno Walter at the inaugural International Festival in 1947 © Norward Inglis