The Bank of Scotland Fireworks Concert will ignite the skyline on Sunday 5 September with the traditional send-off to three weeks of cultural celebration that is the Edinburgh International Festival. The spectacular finale this year features the music of American film, performed live by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with an impressive sky-show from pyrotechnic wizards Pyrovision. One of the largest fireworks displays in the world, the Bank of Scotland Fireworks Concert was last year enjoyed by over 220,000 people in parks and vantage points across Edinburgh.
The Bank of Scotland Fireworks Concert is the largest annual live music pyrotechnic display in the world with four tones of explosives, 12 tonnes of kit and over 100,000 fireworks to be ignited. International firework artist, Keith Webb and his team of 15 experts will take eight days to set up the display including the famous waterfall illuminating Edinburgh Castle.
Designed one month before the grand finale, the display is in constant development with the sourcing of new fireworks up to two years in advance of the performance. Pyrovision continually seek for excellence and invest in fireworks with new technologies and capabilities to integrate into the concert.
For Keith, celebrating 26 years with the Fireworks Concert, his highlight of the night is the relief of a successful show timed to perfection. He must anticipate the orchestra to precisely 2.5 seconds of their ‘trigger notes’ to execute the launch of the fireworks. This is the time it takes to communicate the signal, interpret it and press the right buttons to ensure a seamless routine.
Celebrated conductor Clark Rundell leads the Scottish Chamber Orchestra through a program of cinematic song from the bright lights of Hollywood.
The evening opens with extracts from Kings Row, the 1942 drama that launched the film career of Ronald Reagan. Composed by the “Father of Film Music”, Erich Korngold, the score was fittingly used at Reagan’s inauguration to the White House in 1981.
Leonard Bernstein’s score for On the Waterfront offers the inspiration for the second movement of the night. The film starred Marlon Brando in his first Academy Award winning performance.
The evening continues with Bernard Herrmann’s score to the film Marnie. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 thriller starred Sir Sean Connery and is considered by some to be one of Hitchcock’s masterpieces.
Another of Hitchcock’s regular collaborators, Franz Waxman’s music for Taras Bulba provides the rousing finale to the 2010 concert. Waxman is one of the greats of Hollywood composition and was nominated for 12 Oscars over his career. Taras Bulba starred Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis.
Clark Rundell is Director of Contemporary Music and Head of Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, and Artistic Director of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s award winning new music group, Ensemble 10/10. He studied at Northwestern University, Chicago, USA. In addition to his frequent appearances with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Clark appeared this season with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, the English Chamber Orchestra in London and on tour as well as the BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Schoenberg/ASKO ensemble at the Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, amongst others.
In 2009 the Bank of Scotland Fireworks Concert was enjoyed by over 220,000 people viewing from vantage points across the Scottish capital and remains one of the biggest annual displays in the world.
Bank of Scotland has sponsored the Fireworks Concert since 1995 and their support includes the Bank of Scotland Family Viewing Area at Inverleith Park. For non-ticket holders Inverleith Park provides an ideal viewing area, particularly suited to families with younger children. Once again the facilities there will include a large screen with a live link to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the Ross Bandstand. The concert is broadcast live through loudspeakers in Inverleith Park, and to listeners of Forth Radio across the city.