Edinburgh International Festival 2022 - Highlights

Edinburgh International Festival 2022 - Highlights

From August 5 to 28, the world-renowned Edinburgh International Festival celebrates its 75th Anniversary with three weeks of dance, opera, theatre and music right across the enchanting city. We couldn’t be prouder to see a wide, international array of performances of works by Wise Music composers both historic and new feature this year.

August 9 | Usher Hall
Tan Dun
: Percussion Concerto: The Tears of Nature (2012) 
Martin Gruber, percussion; Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Elim Chan, conductor

Chinese-born composer Tan Dun has entranced moviegoers with his sumptuous film scores, including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and excited concertgoers with kaleidoscopic music drawing on the exquisite sounds of China. He wrote his Percussion Concerto The Tears of Nature in 2012 for the exuberant Austrian soloist Martin Grubinger, one of the world’s greatest percussionists. The Concerto raises alarm at our climate crisis, but also celebrates the inspiration of the natural world in music drenched in colour and unashamedly theatrical. It is joined in the programme by the roof-raising showpiece of Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra – all conducted by Hong Kong-born Elim Chan.

August 11 | Queen’s Hall
Lutoslawski: Dance Preludes (1954)
Joseph Horovitz: Clarinet Sonatina (1981)
Sharon Kam, clarinet; Enrico Pace, piano

Award-winning Israeli-German clarinettist Sharon Kam makes her International Festival debut in a wide-ranging recital including Lutoslawski’s punchy Dance Preludes and Joseph Horovitz’s sunny, smiling Clarinet Sonatina - an international modern classic of the repertoire.

August 12 | Usher Hall
William Barton: The Rising of Mother Country (2022) - European Premiere 
William Barton, didgeridoo; Chineke!

The 2022 Festival is EIF’s UK/Australia Season, presenting the most substantial programme of Australian artists in their history. Australia’s leading didgeridoo player and Wise Music composer William Barton joins with Chineke! to give the first European performance of his new work The Rising of Mother Country, premiered on March 16 this year in Adelaide. Barton visualises the coming together of all nations through a large ensemble of instruments, each player evokes their landscape, their history and bloodlines of their mother country, coming to welcome all people into a safe space: the lullaby.

August 18 | Usher Hall
Sibelius: Symphony No. 7 (1924) 
London Symphony Orchestra; Sir Simon Rattle, conductor

Sir Simon Rattle has long been a committed and insightful Sibelius interpreter: the composer’s final Symphony concentrates all of a traditional symphony’s drama and activity into 20 minutes of overwhelming emotional power. The Sibelius is joined by Bartók, Berlioz and a new work by Daniel Kidane.

August 20 | Usher Hall
Martinů: Concerto for Two Pianos (1943) 
Katia Labèque, piano; Marielle Labèque, piano; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

In the first of their EIF residency concerts, the Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov are joined by Katia and Marielle Labèque for the jazz-infused Concerto for Two Pianos by Dvořák’s compatriot Martinů. The concerto looks back affectionately to the concertos of Bach and Vivaldi while setting feet tapping with its infectious rhythms. Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass rounds off an evening of powerful Czech music.

August 25-28 | Festival Theatre
Jungle Book Reimagined (2022)
by Akram Khan and Jocelyn Pook; Akram Khan Company

Akram Khan’s Jungle Book Reimagined, a brand-new work based on the original story by Rudyard Kipling with an original score by Jocelyn Pook, returns from its premiere European tour with a feature at the EIF. With a new sense of urgency, Akram has reinterpreted this well-known story, through the lens of today’s children – those who will inherit our world and become our future storytellers. Akram and his team reimagine the journey of Mowgli through the eyes of a refugee caught in a world devastated by the impact of climate change. Jungle Book Reimagined will speak to all generations as a step to remind, to relearn, to reimagine a new world together.

Jungle Book reimagined brings together a stellar creative team from all over the world, with a script by Tariq Jordan, dramaturgy by Sharon Clark and additional insight of film director Andy Serkis. Visual technology will turn the stage into a magical world that dives into the myths of today. Jocelyn Pook has collaborated widely with Akram Khan Company and has written scores for DESH, iTMOI and Dust, this new collaboration promises to deliver a meaningful message for today’s generation.

August 26 | Usher Hall
Gabriela Lena Frank: Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout (2001)
Florence Price: Symphony No. 1 (1932)
The Philadelphia Orchestra; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

The Philadelphia Orchestra under Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin holds a four-concert residency at the Festival and with that they present music by their Composer in Residence Gabriela Lena Frank. Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout draws inspiration from the idea of mestizaje as envisioned by Peruvian writer José María Arguedas, where cultures can coexist without the subjugation of one by the other. As such, this piece mixes elements from the western classical and Andean folk music traditions. Also featured is the music of Florence Price. Over the past three years there has been an explosion of interest in her music and The Philadelphia Orchestra have been at the forefront of that. They round off the evening with the jazzy wit and beguiling mix of Dvořák-like earthiness and African rhythms found in Price's Symphony No. 1.

August 27  | Usher Hall
Kaija Saariaho: Vista (2019)
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; Susanna Mälkki, conductor

Kaija Saariaho is regarded by many as one of the greatest living composers, her music now prolific all over the world. On August 27 the Helsinki Philharmonic give her new thirty-minute orchestral work Vista (2019) its eighth outing in two years. Vista is her most substantial orchestral piece for many years and marks a new direction in the composer’s music. It is inspired by a drive from LA to San Diego, where Saariaho was attending a performance of her Harp Concerto Trans.