In 1947, the British Council was a founding partner of the first ever Edinburgh International Festival. We shared a belief in the power of the arts and culture to change the world and to act as a beacon of hope and reconciliation in a divided continent. 70 years on, the British Council is once again teaming up with Edinburgh International Festival to mark this founding partnership, reignite the Spirit of ’47 and celebrate international cultural collaboration.
Music at Spirit of '47
Music plays a central role in these spirited celebrations with artists from all over the world coming together in the Festival City this August.
Queen of the sitar, Anoushka Shankar is a global musical star who grew up playing alongside her father, the legendary Ravi Shankar. Shankar's music takes the ancient Indian instrument into the contemporary world into pop, electronica, classical music and flamenco. In Edinburgh, she will face the world head on with works from her new album, Land of Gold, which explores the current refugee crisis.
Mercury Prize Winner and acclaimed singer songwriter, Benjamin Clementine, has been compared to Nina Simone, Anohni and Edith Piaf. He delivers deeply personal songs of shattering power and searing emotional honesty which question the nature of the society we live in today.
New European Songbook
New European Songbook showcases the changing face and sounds of Europe today, a continent in which mass movement of people brings rich, new influences, talents and styles to our cities. This unique event across two evenings, will bring together established European musicians with artists from further afield, who have made Europe their home. The line-up includes former UK music producer Matthew Herbert and Scottish folk singer Karine Polwart.
The Turner Prize winner will be taking up residence at the Studio for the length of this year’s International Festival, inviting us to a non-conformist evening of words and music but he’ll have some surprises up his sleeve too. As a musician, he has composed for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and London Sinfonietta; launched his own label – Telephone Records – in 2011 to release his albums of ramshackle, catchy folk-pop and performed at music festivals throughout the UK and Europe.
Watch Spirit of '47 Online
In collaboration with BBC Arts Digital, highlights of the programme will also be available live and on demand for a global audience online.
For updates on Twitter and Instagram, follow #Spiritof47.
Edinburgh International Festival Playlist
Enjoy a taste of the music on offer in 2017 with the offical festival playlist.