The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) makes its return to the Edinburgh International Festival this summer, with a bumper nine performances across August.
Events see the Orchestra reunite with RSNO Music Director Thomas Søndergård, Principal Guest Conductor Elim Chan, and partner with internationally renowned musicians including conductors Valery Gergiev and Sir Andrew Davies, cellist Sol Gabetta, pianist Daniil Trifonov, and singers Dorothea Röschmann and Catriona Morrison, across orchestral performances and an opera-in-concert.
On Wednesday 11 August, Music Director Thomas Søndergård returns to the International Festival, following a special digital concert as part of 2020’s digital programme, leading the Orchestra and members of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus in two performances of Felix Mendelssohn’s music, inspired by William Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
RSNO Principal Guest Conductor Elim Chan makes her International Festival debut in two performances on Monday 16 August. Celebrated Argentinian cellist Sol Gabetta join the Orchestra for Saint-Saëns’s First Cello Concerto, while Beethoven’s First Symphony and Entr’acte by young US composer Caroline Shaw, complete the concert.
On Wednesday 18 August, internationally renowned conductor Valery Gergiev partners the RSNO once again at the International Festival, in an evening of lively music from his Russian homeland. The Orchestra are joined by celebrated Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov for Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No 1, alongside RSNO Principal Christopher Hart on solo trumpet, in a programme also featuring Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and Stravinsky’s Apollon musagète.
Following two unforgettable performances in Wagner’s Ring cycle at the International Festival in recent years, the RSNO reprises its successful partnership with Sir Andrew Davis to present a concert performance of Richard Strauss’s late Romantic opera, Ariadne auf Naxos. This new concert staging of an opera within an opera by director Louisa Muller, features a specially selected cast including revered German soprano Dorothea Röschmann, renowned bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff, and Cardiff Singer of the World winner, Scottish mezzo-soprano Catriona Morison. Three performances close the International Festival’s classical and opera programme on 25, 27 and 29 August.
The safety of all artists, audiences and staff members is central to the delivery of the 2021 International Festival, and to help ensure this, organisers have introduced a number of new measures. As a result, all of the RSNO’s performances will take place at the Edinburgh Academy Junior School, in the Inverleith area of the city, in a special outdoor venue designed to host a socially distanced audience.
Each orchestral programme performed by the RSNO will be presented twice in order to allow more audience members to attend, while Ariadne auf Naxos will be performed three times. In order to extend the Festival’s reach beyond in Edinburgh, this year also sees the introduction of online concerts, with audiences able to experience the RSNO with Elim Chan in concert this way, from wherever they are in the world.
Full details of the International Festival programme and ticket sales information are available at eif.co.uk. Public booking opens Friday 11 June 2021.