Manon Lescaut

Manon Lescaut

Love, conflict, greed and desire. Manon Lescaut was Puccini’s breakthrough hit opera, and its exquisitely tender melodies and churning, surging emotions remain potent today. Much loved by International Festival audiences, powerhouse Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles has been Music Director of Deutsche Oper Berlin since 2009… 

Götterdämmerung

Götterdämmerung

Following their spectacular Die Walküre in 2017, Sir Andrew Davis and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra reunite with a sensational international cast of soloists for the overwhelming power of Wagner’s greatest achievement… 

Elgar's The Kingdom

Elgar's The Kingdom

With a remarkable Siegfried in 2018 and an equally astonishing La damnation de Faust the previous year, Manchester’s Hallé and its Music Director Sir Mark Elder are a much-admired International Festival partnership… 

West Side Story

West Side Story

A timeless love story; an electrifying spectacle. New York City, 1950s. Jets versus Sharks. Two rival gangs fight for control of the Upper West Side. Against the backdrop of violence, two teenagers fall in love… 

Youth Orchestra Los Angeles with Big Noise Raploch

Youth Orchestra Los Angeles with Big Noise Raploch

YOLA is the LA Phil’s youth orchestra programme for underserved communities throughout Los Angeles. A group of YOLA musicians travels with the LA Phil as part of its International Festival residency, to spend time with Scotland’s Big Noise, a music programme that changes lives by fostering confidence, discipline and teamwork in the young people taking part… 

Orchestre de Paris 1

Orchestre de Paris 1

Berlioz Harold in Italy Beethoven Symphony No 6 Intellectual rigour and shattering passion: British conductor Daniel Harding is a remarkable force in European music. A regular International Festival visitor, he has been Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris – arguably France’s flagship orchestra – since 2016… 

Peer Gynt & Glorious Percussion

Peer Gynt & Glorious Percussion

Sofia Gubaidulina Glorious PercussionGrieg Peer Gynt (selections) Gripping drama, high adventure, quirky Nordic enchantment: Grieg’s exuberant music for Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt charts the dreams, voyages and mischief of the Norwegian scoundrel… 

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra

Dvořák Cello Concerto Shostakovich Symphony No 5 The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is China’s premier classical ensemble – and an orchestra of global stature. Now in its 140th anniversary year, it has toured the world extensively, praised universally for its immense energy, colour and focus… 

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Sir James MacMillan Symphony No2Symphony No 5 ‘Le grand inconnu’ (World Premiere) The International Festival’s major five-concert celebration of Sir James MacMillan’s 60th birthday continues with two powerfully spiritual works conceived for the concert hall… 

Orchestre de Paris 2

Orchestre de Paris 2

A passionate outcry against man’s inhumanity to man, Britten’s War Requiem is a profoundly moving plea for peace, contrasting shattering anti-war poetry by Wilfred Owen with the timeless ritual of the Latin mass for the dead… 

Amadou & Mariam + Blind Boys of Alabama

Amadou & Mariam + Blind Boys of Alabama

American gospel voyages back to its African roots in this compelling collaboration between two of today’s greatest world music groups. Malian duo Amadou & Mariam have been producing hits since the 1980s, spanning genres from Afro-pop to global dance… 

National Youth Orchestra of the USA

National Youth Orchestra of the USA

Berlioz Les nuits d’été Prokofiev Symphony No 5 Flamboyant, captivating, constantly surprising: Kansas-born mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato is one of today’s classical music giants, with a personality as vibrant and joyful as her breathtaking voice… 

BBC Symphony Orchestra

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Shostakovich Piano Concerto No 2 Mahler Symphony No 4 From a dance with the devil to a child’s awestruck view of heaven – Mahler’s Fourth is his shortest, sunniest symphony… 

Los Angeles Philharmonic 2

Los Angeles Philharmonic 2

Barber AdagioJohn Adams Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? (European Premiere)Tchaikovsky Symphony No 4 The Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel bring us right up to date  for the electrifying conclusion to their very special International Festival residency… 

Angela Hewitt 1

Angela Hewitt 1

Remarkable Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt has received global acclaim in a broad range of music – from Mozart and Beethoven through to Liszt, Debussy and Messiaen. Delicacy and transparency combine thrillingly with power and vigour… 

Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Royal Scottish National Orchestra

James MacMillan Quickening Strauss Ein Heldenleben Birth, life, struggles and triumphs: two immensely powerful reflections on our existence, performed by a celebrated International Festival music partnership… 

London Symphony Orchestra

London Symphony Orchestra

John Adams HarmonielehreRachmaninov Symphony No 2 One of the world’s most electrifying musical partnerships, Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra return following two exceptional performances at the International Festival 2018 with a pair of deeply stirring, richly coloured works… 

Orfeo ed Euridice

Orfeo ed Euridice

With his velvety, exquisitely expressive voice and his penetrating sense of drama, world-renowned British countertenor Iestyn Davies is at the height of his powers. He’s equally at home in the concert hall, the opera house or the theatre — he recently sang the title role in Farinelli and the King, with Mark Rylance, in the West End and on Broadway… 

Los Angeles Philharmonic 1

Los Angeles Philharmonic 1

The exceptional players of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel, in the second of their special three-concert residency at International Festival 2019, launch the 2019 Usher Hall concerts with one of the grandest and most gripping of symphonies… 

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Sir James MacMillan A Scotch BestiaryWoman of the Apocalypse Not only one of the world’s most revered and exceptional composers, Sir James MacMillan is also an immensely popular global figure, creator of music that brings together a thrilling visceral impact, spiritual contemplation and a startling immediacy… 

Angela Hewitt 2

Angela Hewitt 2

Remarkable Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt is revered above all for her performances of Bach, digging deep into his gloriously complex works with spontaneity and dance-like grace. Her extensive recordings of his keyboard works are held up as benchmarks for their profound insights and disarming sincerity… 

Marcel Khalife & Rami Khalife

Marcel Khalife & Rami Khalife

Dubbed the Bob Dylan of the Arabic world, legendary singer, composer, oud player and folk hero Marcel Khalife is a musical freedom fighter, a global ambassador for his Lebanese heritage and a pioneering innovator of Arabic musical traditions… 

Mahler's Eighth Symphony

Mahler's Eighth Symphony

Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra join with the NYCoS Girls Choir and Edinburgh Festival Chorus to perform Mahler’s immense masterpiece. 

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra 2

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra 2

Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra are joined by Nicola Benedetti to celebrate Leonard Bernstein on the centenary of his birth. 

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra 1

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra 1

Celebrated conductor Marin Alsop directs a programme of Stravinsky, Schumann and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. 

Eurovision Young Musicians 2018: Competition Final

Eurovision Young Musicians 2018: Competition Final

The finalists of one of the world’s most prized competition titles - Eurovision Young Musicians 2018 - perform with BBC SSO. 

Des canyons aux étoiles...

Des canyons aux étoiles...

Matthias Pintscher and the SCO perform with Pierre-Laurent Aimard in this remarkable work by Messiaen. 

Dvořák's Requiem

Dvořák's Requiem

Emerging young conductor Jakub Hrůša is joined by four soloists and Edinburgh Festival Chorus in one of classical music’s greatest choral epics. 

Colburn Orchestra

Colburn Orchestra

This remarkable American youth ensemble perform music by Salonen and Rachmaninov. They are joined by violinist Simone Porter for Barber’s Violin Concerto. 

Scottish Chamber Orchestra 2

Scottish Chamber Orchestra 2

In the second of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Brahms cycle, Robin Ticciati conducts the second and fourth symphonies. 

Scottish Chamber Orchestra 1

Scottish Chamber Orchestra 1

One of Scotland’s best-loved ensembles performs the cycle of Brahms’ symphonies over two nights. In this concert we hear his first and third symphonies. 

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

The CBSO performs heady works from Stravinsky, Ravel and Debussy, conducted by Ludovic Morlot. 

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic return to the International Festival with a vibrant programme of Richard Strauss and Prokofiev. 

Hansel & Gretel

Hansel & Gretel

A stunning international cast tell this bewitching fairy tale in a concert performance of Engelbert Humperdinck's opera. 

National Youth Orchestra of Canada

National Youth Orchestra of Canada

Jonathan Darlington conducts Copland’s iconic Appalachian Spring and Vaughan Williams’ Third Symphony, along with a new work from Canadian composer John Estacio. 

Handel's Samson

Handel's Samson

Handel’s powerful oratorio is brought to life by Scotland’s finest period-instrument ensemble. 

London Symphony Orchestra 2

London Symphony Orchestra 2

In the second of their two-concert series, the LSO and Sir Simon Rattle perform Mahler’s Ninth Symphony – the composer’s struggle with the meaning of life. 

London Symphony Orchestra 1

London Symphony Orchestra 1

In the first of two concerts, Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO are joined by legendary pianist Krystian Zimerman for Bernstein’s Second Symphony. 

Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony

Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony

Martyn Brabbins, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Edinburgh Festival Chorus join forces to perform Vaughan Williams’s mighty A Sea Symphony and celebrate Scottish composer Thea Musgrave. 

National Youth Orchestra of Scotland

National Youth Orchestra of Scotland

Paul Daniel conducts works by French and Scottish composers, ending in Debussy’s transcendent La mer. 

Siegfried

Siegfried

A star-studded cast provide the third instalment of Wagner’s monumental Ring Cycle in this concert performance.  

YOA Orchestra of the Americas

YOA Orchestra of the Americas

Conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto, the youth orchestra are joined by world-renowned Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero for Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto. 

NYO-USA Jazz

NYO-USA Jazz

A varied programme that celebrates the big band sound – from Basie and Ellington to hip-hop and R&B. 

National Youth Choir of Scotland

National Youth Choir of Scotland

Christopher Bell directs the National Youth Choir of Scotland in four works that showcase the virtuosity of these young singers. 

Opening Concert

Opening Concert

Josef Haydn’s explosive oratorio The Creation opens the 2018 International Festival. Edward Gardner conducts the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and National Youth Choir of Scotland. 

70th Anniversary Celebration Concert

70th Anniversary Celebration Concert

The 2017 International Festival’s Usher Hall concerts come to a resplendent conclusion in a very special concert celebrating 70 years of the Edinburgh International Festival. Bringing together live music, archive film, interviews and unique memories, this is your chance to join in celebrating one of the world’s most influential festivals – through the music that has featured in it, and the revered figures who have performed in it... 

Filarmonica della Scala 2

Filarmonica della Scala 2

The sumptuous splendours and vivid colours of Italian music bring the two-concert residency from the Orchestra of Milan’s famed La Scala opera house to a dazzling close, under vibrant Music Director Riccardo Chailly... 

Filarmonica della Scala 1

Filarmonica della Scala 1

The Filarmonica della Scala, the orchestra of Milan’s world-renowned opera house La Scala, has been lauded as Italy’s finest symphony orchestra. Its partnership with the historic opera house’s Music Director Riccardo Chailly, famed for his own towering musical personality and vital music-making, summons performances of astonishing potency and subtlety... 

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Two muscular celebrations of America launch a powerful programme from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under its inspirational Music Director Louis Langrée. Bernstein’s gritty On the Waterfront Suite is one of the great symphonic portraits of New York, while Copland’s stirring Lincoln Portrait, which the Cincinnati orchestra premiered in 1942, employs the great President’s writings, performed by a narrator, in music of immense dignity and nobility... 

Joshua Bell Plays Bruch

Joshua Bell Plays Bruch

Superstar US violinist Joshua Bell has brought fresh new vigour to the already accomplished Academy of St Martin in the Fields since taking the reins as Music Director in 2011, the first director since founder Sir Neville Marriner... 

Mariinsky & RSNO

Mariinsky & RSNO

Only at the International Festival could you experience two of the world’s finest orchestras in a single concert. Powerhouse conductor Valery Gergiev here conducts both: his own Mariinsky Orchestra from St Petersburg and Scotland’s own Royal Scottish National Orchestra... 

Verdi's Requiem

Verdi's Requiem

From pounding drums and blazing trumpets predicting the final judgement, to serene prayers begging for release: Verdi’s Requiem is a choral blockbuster of staggering power, bringing all the drama of the opera house to the concert hall... 

Mitsuko Uchida in recital

Mitsuko Uchida in recital

One of the most inspirational, perceptive pianists performing today, Mitsuko Uchida is revered as much for her elegance and poise as for her boundless virtuosity. With a long and distinguished history of acclaimed International Festival performances, she brings a passionate programme for her 2017 solo recital... 

La Damnation de Faust

La Damnation de Faust

Dancing skeletons, drunken rats and a wild, reckless ride to damnation: just some of the unforgettable evocations in Berlioz’s visionary and epic musical retelling of the Faust legend... 

Festival Firsts

Festival Firsts

Sir James MacMillan has a long and fruitful relationship with both the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Edinburgh International Festival. To celebrate the International Festival’s 70th anniversary, he conducts three masterpieces of 20th-century music – all of which received their premieres at the International Festival... 

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Canadian Marc-André Hamelin is a true piano virtuoso in the mould of historical greats Liszt or Rachmaninov, combining astonishing power with a miraculous, impeccable technique – and exceptional sensitivity... 

L'incoronazione di Poppea

L'incoronazione di Poppea

Power corrupts – but love corrupts absolutely. Poppea, scheming mistress of the Emperor Nero, exploits his erotic obsession to commit all forms of crime in her ruthless pursuit of power – and in her lust to be crowned Empress... 

Anoushka Shankar

Anoushka Shankar

Queen of the sitar Anoushka Shankar is a global musical star – performing to worldwide adulation for her breathtaking sitar virtuosity, and releasing numerous critically acclaimed albums... 

Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

After two brutal decades of war, the weary Ulysses is washed up on the rocky shore of his home island of Ithaca. There, he discovers the hordes of depraved admirers who have beseiged his faithful wife Penelope in his 20-year absence – and launches into battle to win back her love... 

L'Orfeo

L'Orfeo

Period performance pioneer Sir John Eliot Gardiner is revered worldwide, not just for his searching scholarly insights into early music, but also for the astonishing intensity and freshness of his compelling performances... 

Peter Grimes

Peter Grimes

What really happened to the young apprentice of surly fisherman Peter Grimes? Suspicion turns to violence when villagers mob together to uncover the unsettling truth. Benjamin Britten’s immensely powerful work is the defining British opera of the 20th century, a remarkably compelling drama examining gossip, rumour and mob rule in some of the composer’s most dramatic sea-inspired music... 

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Teeming with unforgettable melody, shot through with the unmistakable tang of Nordic folk music, Grieg’s Piano Concerto is deservedly one of classical music’s most cherished works... 

Elgar's King Olaf

Elgar's King Olaf

World-renowned Elgarian Sir Andrew Davis conducts a rarely heard masterpiece: Elgar's Viking cantata Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf. In music from rousing battle scenes to touching love songs, this stirring choral spectacular tells the vivid story of ancient Norwegian King Olaf’s battles with the wrathful Norse gods... 

Budapest Festival Orchestra

Budapest Festival Orchestra

Powerful, poetic, effortlessly charismatic, Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti is one of today’s most admired and cherished performers. She joins the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer for the stormy lyricism of Brahms’s joyful Violin Concerto, brimming with spontaneity and gypsy abandon... 

Bryn Terfel & Malcolm Martineau

Bryn Terfel & Malcolm Martineau

Superstar of the opera and concert stage, Bryn Terfel has a voice that can fill the world’s greatest opera houses, and a musical personality just as warm and charismatic. From Wagner to folk song, the great Welsh bass baritone mines drama from all he sings, blending vast power and subtlety in his unforgettably rich, expressive voice... 

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

They open with the surging emotions and poignant melodies of Schubert’s much-loved ‘Unfinished’ Symphony. Armenian-American pianist Sergei Babayan, celebrated for the sensitive insights of his playing, is the soloist in the wondrous inventions of Schumann’s exuberant Piano Concerto, brimming with unforgettable tunes... 

Die Walküre

Die Walküre

Following last year’s Das Rheingold from Mariinsky Opera, the epic Die Walküre takes us deeper into Wagner’s vast mythological world in the second part of the International Festival’s four-year Ring cycle... 

The Opening Concert

The Opening Concert

A jolt of surprise and a joyful choral celebration launch the 2017 International Festival Usher Hall concerts with an evening of wit and warmth. Granada-born Pablo Heras-Casado, one of the most exciting young international conductors, directs the exceptional players of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra...