Russians to invade Edinburgh Festival

This year’s Edinburgh International Festival has a distinctly Russian flavor. The Edinburgh festival attracts artists from all over the world. This year, Tokyo’s Imperial Household musicians will perform ancient Gagaku music.

Russian art will take center stage at the upcoming Edinburgh International Festival, which is to take place from Aug. 9 through Sept. 2. More than one million spectators are expected to visit the festival, whose main focus this year is theater.

The Russian element in the program is by no means small, with the Mariinsky Theater Ballet Company giving four performances of Alexei Ratmansky’s playful and witty take on Sergei Prokofiev’s “Cinderella” (Aug. 30 and 31, Sept. 1).

Talented pianist Daniil Trifonov will make his debut at the festival on Aug. 24, while another pianist, Nikolai Lugansky, who is already established on the international performing scene, will give a concert on Aug. 17.


Mariinsky Theater Artistic Director Valery Gergiev also brings the London Symphony Orchestra, of which he is the principal conductor, to a breathtaking four-concert residency juxtaposing works by Brahms and Szymanowski (Aug. 16, 17, 18 and 19).

On Aug. 24, 25 and 26, the Chekhov International Theater Festival pays a visit to Edinburgh, with Dmitry Krymov’s Laboratory and School of Dramatic Art Theater Production performing the world premiere of Krymov’s provocative interpretation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

One of the most intriguing items on the bill — the European premiere of the ballet “Tatyana,” choreographed by renowned Brazilian ballet master Deborah Colker and performed by her company — was inspired by Alexander Pushkin’s classic work, “Eugene Onegin.” In the ballet, which is set to an eclectic mixture of music ranging from Tchaikovsky to Stravinsky to Terry Riley, the story is told through Tatyana’s eyes. The company promises “ an intense emotional rollercoaster of the famous tale.”

“Tatyana” will be performed on Aug. 11, 12, 13 and 14.

On Aug. 14, Vladimir Jurowski will lead the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the exclusively Russian program of Denisov, Myaskovsky, Shchedrin and Rachmaninov. The concert also features three Russian opera soloists — Tatyana Monogarova (soprano), Sergei Skorokhodov (tenor) and Vladimir Chernov (baritone).

Mills sees festivals as journeys that inspire artists and audiences who have an interest in their place in the world and their role as human beings. His vision is largely shared by Gergiev.

“This year we have decided to incorporate the New Horizons festival of contemporary classical music in the program of the Stars of the White Nights festival because we feel that expanding cultural horizons is our company’s mission,” Gergiev said.

“As the Edinburgh festival shows, the more effort you put into bringing artistic diversity to people, the better the creative climate it forges at home.