International Festival Portraits

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Celebrating the presence of artists at the very heart of the Edinburgh International Festival, these video portraits explore the artist's experience from the point of view of some of those who appeared at the International Festival in 2016 and 2015. 

  • All
  • 2016
  • 2015

Alan Cumming

Actor Alan Cumming talks about how knew he wanted to be an actor, and the electric moments of connection he experiences in live theatre. 

Alan Cumming performs Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs at the 2016 International Festival. 

Marin Alsop

Conductor Marin Alsop talks about the day she decided she wanted to be a conductor, and the process of bringing music on the page to full, vivid life. 

Marin Alsop conducts the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra as part of the 2016 International Festival.

John Tiffany

Director John Tiffany talks the moment he knew he wanted to be a director, and the projects that most excite and inspire him.

Tiffany directs The Glass Menagerie as part of the 2016 International Festival

Meow Meow

Cabaret Artiste Meow Meow talks about bringing a true, human vulnerability into heightened performance, and the absolute, jubilant necessity of art in our lives. 

Meow Meow is performing in Barry Humphries Weimar Cabaret at the 2016 International Festival

Crystal Pite

Choreographer Crystal Pite talks about how she became a choreographer and the intense joy that comes with being completely absorbed in the act of creation. 

Crystal Pite's piece Emergence will be performed by Scottish Ballet as part of the 2016 International Festival.

Barry Humphries

Performer Barry Humphries talks about his experience of creating and performing different characters, and the extraordinary energy of ‘pre-cataclysmic’ art – art that is produced before any major upheaval in history.  

Barry Humphries performs his Weimar Cabaret with Meow Meow and the Australian Chamber Orchestra as part of the 2016 International Festival.

James Yorkston

Musician James Yorkston talks about his first give, and the extraordinary joy and privilege of being able to make music. 

Yorkston is performing with Yorkston/Thorne/Khan at the 2016 International Festival. 

Juliette Binoche

Actress Juliette Binoche passionately describes the importance of actors fusing their body and mind when performing on stage.

Binoche performed in Antigone during the 2015 International Festival.

Simon McBurney

Actor and director Simon McBurney reflects on the intensity of live theatre and the co-dependent relationship between audience and performers.

McBurney performed in The Encounter during the 2015 International Festival. 

Nicola Benedetti

Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti takes a personal look at her own performance style on stage, the vulnerabilities and idiosyncrasies of a musician on stage.

Benedetti performed with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra at the Usher Hall during the 2015 International Festival. 

Robert Lepage

Actor, Writer and Director Robert Lepage champions the cultural benefits of the theatrical experience and the role he plays in delivering it.

Lepage performed in 887 during the 2015 International Festival

Anne-Sophie Mutter

Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter discusses the life-affirming importance of music as a way of bringing people together and traces the impact it has had throughout her life.

Mutter performed Vivaldi's The Four Seasons at the Usher Hall during the 2015 International Festival.