Alumni Services

Win Edinburgh International Festival tickets

As official partner of the 2015 EIF, the University invites alumni to join in the festivities by entering our exclusive competition.

The Harmonium Project
The Harmonium Project is a sound and light event taking place at the Usher Hall. Image © 59 Productions.

The University has partnered with the Edinburgh International Festival to open the August festivals in spectacular style.

One of the most ambitious arts initiatives of 2015, The Harmonium Project is a free outdoor sound and light event, taking place outside the Usher Hall on the evening of Friday 7 August. Working with the University’s Centre for Design Informatics, the project examines the effects singing has on both the performer and the listener.

The Harmonium Project

Win tickets

We also have free tickets to giveaway for a selection of other EIF events including the Opening Concert conducted by Donald Runnicles, Dragon, a story for adults, teenagers and children, and the highly anticipated Franz Ferdinand and Sparks collaboration. Details of all tickets, dates and locations are outlined below.

To enter this exclusive competition, join us on Wednesday 5 August at 12 noon on the Edinburgh Alumni Facebook page. You can find and like the page here -

If you do not have access to Facebook you can register to be sent the competition by email by sending your email address to with the subject line Edinburgh International Festival tickets. We will then send details of the competition at 12 noon on Wednesday 5 August.

The competition is open to all alumni of the University of Edinburgh. All tickets are pairs except Dragon, which is for 2 adults and 2 children (recommended for 9+ years).

Event details

The Opening Concert - BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Donald Runnicles & The Edinburgh Festival Chorus/Christopher Bell

Saturday 8th August, 7.30pm Usher Hall

Brahms Gesang der Parzen

Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzer (orch. Brahms)

Brahms Schicksalslied

Strauss Ein Heldenleben

A rich programme of powerful and profoundly personal music, performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under its commanding Chief Conductor, Donald Runnicles, renowned worldwide for his passionate accounts of Romantic works.

Monstrously egotistical for some, searingly intense for others, Strauss’s grand autobiographical Ein Heldenleben is a vivid portrait of a hero’s life, his struggles against adversity and his ultimate fulfilment, conveyed in some of the composer’s most expressive and evocative music.

Beforehand, Runnicles directs the Orchestra and Edinburgh Festival Chorus in glowingly Romantic choral works by Brahms, from the brooding Gesang der Parzen to the blissful serenity of the Schickalslied, by way of the charming lyricism and disarming tunefulness of the Liebeslieder Waltzer.

Sylvie Guillem – Life in Progress

Monday 10th August 7.30pm Festival Theatre

Hailed as one of the greatest dancers of her generation, Sylvie Guillem embarks on her final world tour, in a programme that features new works by Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant and existing creations by Mats Ek and William Forsythe.

Guillem began training at the Paris Opera Ballet School in 1977, and in 1981 joined the company’s corps de ballet, being promoted to the rank of ‘Etoile’ by Rudolf Nureyev at the age of 19.

Since then she has performed all the leading roles of the classical repertoire with the world’s leading companies including The Royal Ballet, where she was principal guest artist for more than a decade. She has also performed with the world’s most famous companies including the Mariinsky, American Ballet Theatre and La Scala, Milan. Since 2004 she has been an Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells, and has forged a second, hugely successful career as a dancer in new and contemporary works.

The Marriage of Figaro – Budapest Festival Orchestra

Thursday 13th August, 7.00pm Festival Theatre

Iván Fischer conducts and directs a specially staged concert of one of opera’s most beloved comic creations. Mozart’s sparkling farce charts one crazy day of love and desire, deception and confusion across barriers of class and convention, as servant Figaro and his master, Count Almaviva, fight for the affections of maid Susanna.

Aptly subtitled ‘The Follies of a Day’, The Marriage of Figaro soars to comic heights but also plumbs the depths of emotion, expressing the joy and pain of love and the agony and ecstasy of desire, until all is resolved in a spirit of forgiveness.

Fischer’s startling production, acclaimed in Budapest and New York, fuses music and theatre, with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Fischer on stage assisting the dramatic action and singers acting Mozart’s frenetic comedy in amongst the musicians.

Dragon – National Theatre of Scotland

Sunday 16th August, noon Royal Lyceum Theatre

Dragon is a story for adults, teenagers and children with vivid imaginations, told without words and featuring fast moving physical theatre, puppetry and original music.

Created by Vox Motus, the National Theatre of Scotland and Tianjin Children’s Art Theatre, Dragon tells the story of Tommy whose life, since the death of his mother, has gone from bad to worse. One restless night Tommy goes to the window and throws back the curtain to find himself face to face with a dragon.

Dragon was awarded Best Show for Children and Young People at UK Theatre Awards 2014.

Lang Lang in Recital - Bach Italian Concerto; Tchaikovsky The Seasons; Chopin Four Scherzos

Friday 21st August, 8.00pm

Usher Hall

Combining poetry and pyrotechnics, intensity and introspection, pianist Lang Lang is one of classical music’s global stars, held in awe for his unashamedly flamboyant performances yet equally renowned for his insights and fresh perspectives.

He’s a grand figure in the mould of Liszt or Rachmaninov, a spectacular showman admired as much for his barnstorming virtuosity as for his provocative, revelatory interpretations.

His Festival recital puts all sides of his powerful music personality on display. Bach’s zesty Italian Concerto is full of sparkling wit and perky melody, while the twelve miniatures of Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons are melodic masterpieces that capture the months of the year in music. Chopin’s Four Scherzos dazzle with keyboard fireworks and seduce with their singing melodies.

FFS (Franz Ferdinand & Sparks)

Monday 24th August, 8.00pm Festival Theatre

Two iconic bands join forces in a bold, new creative endeavour and the fruits of this seemingly unlikely musical idea have finally been born. Franz Ferdinand and Sparks have become FFS.

The mutual admiration society between Alex Kapranos, Nick McCarthy, Bob Hardy, Paul Thomson, Ron Mael and Russell Mael has manifested itself in a striking new album produced by John Congleton, master producer of St. Vincent and many other great artists.

And without further ado, they are upping the ante and announcing that FFS will be performing live. Unmissable!

The concert will begin with support from SLUG at 8.00pm. The venue will open 60 minutes prior to the support act.