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Edinburgh Festival announces new boss

Fergus Linehan, head of contemporary music at the Sydney Opera House, has tweeted: Hugely honored to have been named Director Designate of the Edinburgh International Festival. First festival will be in August 2015.

Linehan will succeed the Australian Jonathan Mills, who has presided over an orderly decline since 2006, substituting provincial companies for mainstreamers and managing on an ever-shrinking budget to the point where the official festival became a periphery of the many fringes. Linehan will have his work cur out to reinject excitement into a soft-bellied enterprise.

Linehan was head of the Sydney Festival, 2004-09, before joining the opera house on a bold mission to expand its horizons.

fergus linehan

Click here for the official announcement.

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  1. This gentleman seems to have a good track record as head of ‘contemporary music’ at the Sydney Opera House, bringing in the likes of Elvis Costello and Bjork. And he has a lot of experience of the theatre from his Dublin days. How about classical music? What’s his experience of programming that? Or is the idea just to subsume the international festival into the fringe with lots of electronica and rock?

  2. Hamish McGrittie says:

    Norman Lebrecht has a pathological animosity to Jonathan Mills which disqualifies him as an objective critic.
    He disparaged Mills on his appointment as director of the Edinburgh Festival on the basis that he was an Australian, saying that he’d eat his hat if the festival grew under his charge. When after the outstanding success of one festival after another this splenetic critic was offered a hat to eat, which he cowardly declined to eat.
    A festival which presented Ariane Mnouckine’s four hour Les Naufrag√©s du Fol Espoir, and has Valery Gergiev as its honorary chairman on the invitation of Jonathan Mills ,augurs well for the creativity of the new director Fergus Linehan.

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