The Edinburgh International Festival will hold a month-long short film showcase to mark the 75th anniversary

Sold-out concerts, backstage music sessions, performances and behind-the-scenes interviews will feature in the “At Home” digital festival.

A Ukrainian soprano, a trio of Gaelic singers, an Australian didgeridoo virtuoso, an Iranian musician and a Scottish indie-rock band are on the programme.

The 16 shorts, which can be viewed for free from anywhere in the world, will be released on different days between October 27 and December 1 on EIF’s ‘At Home’ online platform.

They were filmed on and off stage at venues including Usher Hall, Queen’s Hall and Leith Theatre, as well as the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Scottish Parliament Building and on the Braid Hills and Salisbury Crags.

The digital program was commissioned to mark the 75th anniversary of the festival, which is about to enter a new era under its recently appointed director, violinist Nicola Benedetti.

The lineup includes a series of short films specially commissioned by a Glasgow-based production company around Edinburgh.

They include a performance of ‘Edinburgh is History’, a new poem by the city’s Makar, Hannah Lavery. She performed it live to kick off the opening event of this year’s festival, which saw an audience of 15,000 flock to Murrayfield Stadium.

Pianist and conductor Wayne Marshall was filmed in the Grand Gallery of the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra and soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska visited the Holyrood Parliament building separately for their short film, Australian didgeridoo player William Barton performed ‘The Mother Country’ on Salisbury Crags and Scottish ballet dancer James Garrington traveled to the Braid Hills.

Indie rock favorites Arab Strap were filmed on stage at the Leith Theater ahead of their August performance at FEI, with Skye piper Brighde Chaimbeul, who also starred in the Murrayfield Macro curtain raiser, filming behind the scenes and trion of the Gaelic Sian song performing outside the historic site.

Other shorts will feature the full closing concert of the festival, which featured the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Edinburgh Festival Chorus and the National Youth Choir of Scotland, and Spanish musician Jordi Savall performing with his ensemble Hespèrion XXI at the Queen’s Hall.

Francesca Hegyi, General Manager of the Festival, said: “It was so encouraging to see our audiences returning to concert halls and theaters across the city in our 75th year. The anticipation for this year’s festival was high and the artists delivered.

Edinburgh Makar Hannah Lavery has recorded her new poem ‘Edinburgh is a Story’ for a new month-long digital festival. Photo: Jess Shurte

“However, not everyone can attend our live performances, and the At Home program gives a taste of what we have to offer at the International Festival.

“We could not do this without the support of abrdn, so it is with great gratitude to them that we are unveiling this program.

“It’s available for free and from anywhere in the world, so wherever you are you can transport yourself to Edinburgh in August.”

Judith Kynaston, Global Brand Manager at abrdn, the Scottish investment firm that sponsors EIF’s At Home platform, said: “At Home gives global audiences the opportunity to experience a diverse program of live entertainment for free, and we are delighted to continue our association with the largest performing arts festival in the world.

Indie rock band Arab Strap recorded an exclusive session for the Edinburgh International Festival ahead of their gig at the Leith Theater in August. Photo: Andrew Perry
Scottish ballet dancer James Garrington has been filmed on the Braid Hills for a special short film to be released as part of the Edinburgh International Festival’s ‘At Home’ series.
Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska performed with the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra inside the Scottish Parliament building for a short film to be shown on the Edinburgh International Festival’s ‘At Home’ platform.
Australian didgeridoo virtuoso William Barton performed on Salisbury Crags for the Edinburgh International Festival’s ‘At Home’ platform.

Darcy J. Skinner