FEATURE: Edinburgh International Festival 2011 programme launch

Described by director Jonathan Mills as “a celebration of ideas from Asia and ideas from Europe connecting with each other”, 2011’s Edinburgh International Festival programme contains a wealth of cultural highlights and artists from across the world.

Drawing inspiration from the Far East, this year’s EIF features the European premiere of the Chinese National Ballet’s The Peony Pavillion, contemporary dance from Korean Eun-Me Ahn Company’s Princess Bari, and Chinese and Korean interpretations of Shakespeare’s King Lear and The Tempest.

Music performances from sitar-player Ravi Shankar, The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe continue the Eastern theme; as do further performances from artists from India, Vietnam, Japan and the Middle East.

Sir Sandy Crombie, Jonathan Mills and Steve Cardownie present highlights from 2011's Edinburgh International Festival

Sir Sandy Crombie, Jonathan Mills and Steve Cardownie present highlights from 2011's Edinburgh International Festival

Joined on stage by Chairman of Creative Scotland Sir Sandy Crombie and Councillor Steve Cardownie, Mills was also keen to point out the “tremendous representation of Scottish artists”, highlighting the inclusion in the year’s Festival of the Scottish Ballet, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Artists from across the globe also feature, including St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Opera, Orchestre symphonique de MontrĂ©al and a Festival debut from legendary composer Philip Glass – all contributing to a truly international programme.

Mills also fielded questions from the media

Mills also fielded questions from the media

Running from 12 August – 4 September, Mills hopes audiences will join the EIF on the cultural “bridge” they are trying to build between East and West; in what looks to be a Festival filled with colour, spectacle and world-class talent.

Tickets for all performances are available on Saturday 2 April. Priority booking for Friends of the EIF opens today. Further information – including the downloadable programme – is available on the EIF website.

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