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First Ambassador for International Festival’s Young Musicians

The Festival has announced Colin Currie as the first ambassador for its Young Musicians Passport programme. The initiative designed to encourage young people to attend live classical music concerts was set up by the Festival three years ago and offers free tickets to young musicians based in Edinburgh and the Lothians. YMP holders have access to free tickets for over 40 selected classical music performances with star soloists, and Scotland’s best and visiting international orchestras. Two friends or members of their family can accompany them for half price.

Festival Ambassador Colin Currie said, ‘Attending concerts is an essential part of growing and developing as a musician. As someone who grew up here in Edinburgh I know we are incredibly lucky to have the International Festival bringing wonderful artists and orchestras to the city each year and it is great to be involved in extending its reach among this important group of young people. I look forward to meeting these young musicians when I come to play at the Festival this summer.’

Festival Director Fergus Linehan said, ‘With over 1000 young people from Edinburgh and the Lothians signed up to take part it felt right to take this scheme to the next stage and offer our Young Musicans even more from the passport. Colin is a really inspiring and exciting musician and his endorsement and involvement in the passport will help us reach and interest even more young music lovers in the city and its surrounds.’

Councillor Paul Godzik, Convener for Education, Children and Families at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: ‘The Young Musicians Passport programme has proved really popular since it was launched three years ago and it’s great news that such a world-renowned musician as Colin Currie has been chosen to be the first ambassador. The project is a really innovative idea as it allows our aspiring young musicians the chance to see internationally-acclaimed musical performances and inspire them to develop their skills to become the musicians of the future.’

Colin is a world renowned percussionist invited to play all over the world with orchestras and ensembles. Aged just 24 he was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. He has worked with many famous composers including Elliott Carter, Jennifer Higdon, Kalevi Aho, and Kurt Schwertsik.

As part of his new role as first ambassador and the festival's #GreatArtists series, Colin talked about his training to become a professional musician and also revealed his personal top concert picks for young musicians:

Further films and opportunities for the young musicians will be revealed over the coming months, including a lecture demonstration by Colin where he will talk and play, the opportunity to meet him at a reception during the Festival, and great competition prizes!

To be eligible for Young Musicians Passport the candidates have to be aged 18 or under on 28 March 2015, go to school in Edinburgh or the Lothian’s and play an instrument, or be a part of choral group.

Young people keen to get involved can find more information and can register on the Festival website at www.eif.co.uk/ympassport.

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