About Hope in the face of adversity

A woman wearing a green dress leans forward onto a white pillar, resting her hand in her chin and smiling at the camera.

Nicola Benedetti, Edinburgh International Festival Director

“From the collective to the individual, we explore the capacity of our internal strength. Against all odds, what has it been possible for a person to overcome? The long power of a single thought, the audacity of a dream, the weight of a realisation and the ensuing actions that change the trajectory of human behaviour forever.

Mark Simpson, one of the UK’s most extraordinary musicians, when writing his violin concerto during the pandemic said, ‘I could not have composed so fully had I not faced and internalised the tragedy surrounding me’. His final movement is a celebration of possibility.

Throughout the history of the arts, there is example after example of an internalised struggle resulting in the unthinkable. This summer alone we have Quartet for the End of Time by Oliver Messiaen, As Far As Impossible by Tiago Rodrigues, The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky / Pina Bausch / Germaine Acogny and, of course, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.”

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