Edinburgh international festival taps violinist Nicola Benedetti as director, effective in October

Posted on: March 4, 2022

“Nicola Benedetti, the award-winning Scottish violinist, is to take over as director of the Edinburgh international festival, becoming the first woman to run the event,” write Severin Carrell and Nadia Khomami in Tuesday’s (3/1) Guardian (U.K.). “Benedetti … is also the first Scot to direct the festival since its foundation in 1947…. She will succeed Fergus Linehan … in October…. Linehan, who will announce August’s festival program this month, has previously said he wants the event to be a ‘huge civic moment from celebration to requiem’ after the Covid crisis…. Benedetti has no experience running large arts festivals but has built up a significant reputation as an arts educator and ambassador for classical music, particularly with younger musicians and schools…. A champion of modern compositions, the soloist … formed the Benedetti Baroque Orchestra in 2020. Her violin concerto to a score by the jazz trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis also won a Grammy that year.… The Edinburgh international festival’s … current board … is the first in the event’s history to have a female majority membership and greater ethnic diversity.… Jude Kelly … previously the Southbank Centre’s first female artistic director, called Benedetti’s appointment a ‘huge step.’ ”