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.