Edinburgh International Festival 08

Welcome to Festival 08.  The Edinburgh International Festival was founded in 1947 in the aftermath of a devastating war, as an optimistic expression of what Europe could be. It owes its origins to an imperative to rebuild a sense of community in a continent which had torn itself apart; to restore hope to shattered lives through music, opera, drama, and dance. Europe today is a very different place. Borders have been redrawn in every direction and these borders are not just political or geographic, but also cultural, social and even religious. These are exciting times in which to live in Europe; times which demand a commitment to our sense of community. A festival is an expression of the creative ambition of the community it serves. It’s also a place where the personal and collective challenges we face as a society can be explored; Explored by artists working across and beyond the very boundaries which often seem so problematic. Festival 08 invites you to embark upon an exciting and often confronting journey along these cultural borders. Artists from Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bosnia and Georgia are juxtaposed with work from Lebanon, Turkey, the Palestinian Territories, Israel and Iran, all places with particular challenges on their own borders. Music from orthodox Christian traditions is heard alongside devotional masterpieces from Islam. Most illusive of all are the rich traditions of gypsy music, a source of inspiration to composers from Brahms to Bartok, which reject the idea of borders of any kind altogether. I hope that you will chart your own path through this Festival and create your own journey.

           

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