Programme announced for Edinburgh International Festival 2018

The Edinburgh International Festival has announced the programme for their 2018 festival, which runs from 3 to 27 August and welcomes 2,750 artists from 31 nations to Scotland’s capital city.

Highlights include the UK and festival debut of NYO Jazz, the new sister programme of Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, plus the festival debut of pianist James Baillieu, who joins the Hebrides Ensemble to kick off the Festival’s day-long Leonard Bernstein centenary celebrations.

Nicola Benedetti returns to the festival to open the Queen’s Hall series of concerts, performing Telemann and Vivaldi with the Academy of Ancient Music, while Daniel Harding conducts Mahler 8 with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in the closing concert of the festival. Daniel is joined on stage by Christopher Maltman, and Simon O’Neill, in his second performance of the festival; his first being Siegfried in a concert performance of Wagner’s eponymous opera, with Anna Larsson as Erda.

The Queen’s Hall will host recitals from Piotr Anderszewski, Viktoria Mullova and Katia Labèque, and Dorothea Röschmann and Roger Vignoles, as well as a performance of Handel’s Samson with Louise Alder, Sophie Bevan and David Soar.

Over two nights, Robin Ticciati will conduct Brahms Symphonies Nos. 1 to 4 with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, repertoire they have recently recorded for release on Linn Records. The SCO will also perform under the baton of Matthias Pintscher, and Edward Gardner, who returns to the festival following outstanding performances of Peter Grimes with the Bergen Philharmonic last year. Edward will conduct Haydn’s The Creation, with soloists including Robert Murray and Neal Davies.

Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra will give two performances at the festival, presenting works by Bernstein, Dvořák, Janáček and Mahler, and Christopher Maltman joins the BBC Scottish Symphony and Martyn Brabbins for Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony.

Performances by AH artists are listed below. For the full line-up, visit


Saturday 4 August

TELEMANN Alster Overture-Suite
VIVALDI Concerto for violin in D major Il Grosso Mogul
VIVALDI Concerto in F major Dresden
TELEMANN Concerto for violin in A major The Frogs
TELEMANN Concerto for four violins in C major
VIVALDI Concerto for harpsichord RV780

Violin: Nicola Benedetti
Academy of Ancient Music

Recorded for deferred broadcast on BBC Radio 3

HAYDN The Creation

Soprano: Sarah Tynan
Tenor: Robert Murray
Bass: Neal Davies

Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Edward Gardner
National Youth Choir of Scotland / Christopher Bell

Sunday 5 August

AH Tours & Projects

NYO Jazz make their EIF debut as part of their inaugural tour, with a performance showcasing American music for big band from Basie and Ellington to today’s jazz greats.

NYO Jazz (EIF debut)
Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra
Trumpet and bandleader: Sean Jones, trumpet and bandleader
Guest vocalist: Dianne Reeves

Tuesday 7 August

BACH Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 870
BACH Prelude and Fugue in A flat major BWV 886
BACH Prelude and Fugue in in D sharp minor BWV 877
BACH English Suite No. 3 in G minor
BEETHOVEN Diabelli Variations

Piano: Piotr Anderszewski

Wednesday 8 August

PROKOFIEV Solo Violin Sonata in D major Op. 115
SCHUMANN Violin Sonata No. 1 in A minor
TAKEMITSU Distance de fee for violin & piano
PÄRT Fratres
RAVEL Violin Sonata No. 2 in G major

Violin: Viktoria Mullova
Piano: Katia Labèque

WAGNER Siegfried (concert performance)

Third instalment of the Festival’s four-year Ring cycle.

Siegfried: Simon O’Neill
Brünnhilde: Christine Goerke
The Wanderer: Iain Paterson
Mime: Gerhard Siegel
Alberich: Samuel Youn
Fafner: Clive Bayley
Erda: Anna Larsson
Woodbird: Malin Christensson

Hallé / Sir Mark Elder

Thursday 9 August


Christopher Maltman

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Martyn Brabbins
Edinburgh Festival Chorus

Friday 10 August

BERNSTEIN Symphony No. 2 The Age of Anxiety
DVOŘÁK Slavonic Dances Op. 72
JANÁČEK Sinfonietta

London Symphony Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle

Saturday 11 August

MAHLER Symphony No. 9

London Symphony Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle

Monday 13 August


Cast includes:

  • Louise Alder
  • Sophie Bevan
  • David Soar

Dunedin Consort / John Butt

Friday 17 August

Programme tba

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Ludovic Morlot
Edinburgh Festival Chorus

Saturday 18 August

BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C minor
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3 in F major

Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Robin Ticciati

Sunday 19 August

BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 in D minor
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4 in E minor

Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Robin Ticciati

Tuesday 21 August

Songs by Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert & Wolf

Soprano: Dorothea Röschmann
Piano: Roger Vignoles

Live on BBC Radio 3

Wednesday 22 August

MESSIAEN Des canyons aux étoiles …

Piano: Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Matthias Pintscher

Saturday 25 August

COPLAND Appalachian Spring
COPLAND Piano Variations*
BERNSTEIN Arias and Barcarolles*

Piano: James Baillieu (EIF debut)*
Mezzo soprano: J’Nai Bridges
Baritone: Jacques Imbrailo
Piano: Philip Moore

Hebrides Ensemble

Sunday 26 August

MAHLER Symphony No. 8

Baritone: Simon O’Neill

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Daniel Harding

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