Edinburgh International Festival begins the search for its next Festival Director, who will launch their programming and curatorial vision at the 2023 Festival. 

Current Festival Director, Fergus Linehan, completes his tenure in September 2022 after an exceptional eight-year period, during which time he has reaffirmed the Festival’s position as the world’s leading performing arts festival. 

One of the most obvious ways Linehan has changed the festival is by introducing more contemporary music and artists since he first took up the reins. He also engaged the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra to bring classical music to Tynecastle in the opening event in 2019. We have enjoyed light shows over several years from the dizzy heights of Edinburgh Castle to last year’s My Light Shines On – a triumph during the pandemic.

Los Angeles Philharmonic at Tynecastle in 2019. Photo: Martin P. McAdam www.martinmcadam.com

The new Festival Director will be expected to take the International Festival to the next stage, bringing the finest music, dance, opera and theatre performers to Edinburgh’s renowned performance venues alongside a digital programme that gives global audiences access to the Festival from their own homes.

Festival Director Fergus Linehan Edinburgh International Festival media launch Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh PHOTO John Preece

The International Festival says it is “seeking an outstanding artistic leader with the creativity, vision and dynamism to shape the future of the Festival”. 

The worldwide search for the role is being led by AEM International and further information on the role, including a full information pack, can be found  here

Created in 1947 to celebrate the enduring human spirit, the International Festival serves as an annual cultural exchange, every August, for an international gathering of artists and an audience of over 400,000.

 This year the Festival is pioneering the return to live performance in Scotland from 7 – 29 August 2021, with over 170 performances across three bespoke outdoor venues, as well as the Festival Theatre, Traverse Theatre, The Royal Lyceum Theatre and Dance Base. 

Keith Skeoch, then CEO of Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: “We’ve been proud to support the Edinburgh International Festival’s Opening Event for a fourth year running and what a spectacular visit we’ve had this evening from the LA Philharmonic Orchestra and Gustavo Dudamel. Aberdeen Standard Investments is headquartered in Edinburgh with over 3,000 colleagues being based here. It’s events like this that help put the city on a global stage and give Edinburgh the recognition it deserves for its innovation and creativity.” Mr Skeoch is now Chair of EIF. PHOTO ©2019 The Edinburgh Reporter

Keith Skeoch, Chair of Edinburgh International Festival Board, said: “As Fergus Linehan completes his exceptional eight-year tenure as Festival Director in September 2022, we now commence our worldwide search for his successor.  

“The successful applicant will join at a historic moment as the broader arts sector rebuilds after Covid-19. In a recruitment process led by Heather Newill at AEM International, we seek applicants with experience working across genres and around the world, with the skill and ambition to grow the Festival’s global reach and influence.”

Closing date for applications: Friday, 1st October at 5pm.