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Edinburgh International Festival


Bringing the world’s best music, theatre, opera and dance together, join in the celebrations as Edinburgh International Festival celebrates its 76th anniversary.

Nicola Benedetti performs with Scottish Chamber Orchestra |
©Edinburgh International Festival, Ryan Buchanan,
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4th August 2023 - 27th August 2023
Various locations across Edinburgh

Edinburgh International Festival is the world’s leading performing arts festival, featuring the finest performers from the worlds of dance, opera, music and theatre. Created in 1947 to celebrate the human spirit, for three weeks each August the city becomes an unparalleled celebration of the performing arts and an annual meeting point for people of all nations.

In 2023 this renowned festival celebrates its 76th anniversary – 76 years of unique collaborations, world premieres, critically acclaimed productions and more – all of which have captivated, thrilled and entertained worldwide audiences.

2023 also marks renowned classical violinist Nicola Benedetti’s first year as Festival Director.

Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr’s book of the same name, this year’s question is ‘Where do we go from here?’ The programme is split into three themes: Community over chaosHope in the face of adversity and A perspective that’s not one’s own

Community over chaos takes its inspiration from those who have devoted their time to bringing communities together. The Opening Concert marks this with the Scottish premiere of Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion. Conducted by Dun himself, it will bring together the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, their Youth Chorus and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus for a celebratory performance.

Hope in the face of adversity focuses on extraordinary works of art that have been produced from a period of struggle and conflict. A highlight from this theme will be multi-Grammy® Award winner Thomas Quasthoff joining with The Amatis Trio for a recital of letters from the First World War accompanied by a range of modern music.

The final theme, A perspective that’s not one’s own, examines how, as individuals, we look at the world and how we can all gain a greater sense of intolerance. A piece from this is the work of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre who will be showcasing a wide range of dance performances, such as their signature piece Revelations, a homage to African American culture.

Performances take place in a variety of venues across the city, including the Queen’s Hall, Festival Theatre, The Lyceum, The Hub and Edinburgh Playhouse.

View the full programme Edinburgh International Festival programme.