One of Australia's leading festival directors is to head the Edinburgh International Festival.
Jonathan Mills is the new Edinburgh International Festival director
Jonathan Mills will move from Melbourne to take up the post vacated by Sir Brian McMaster, who is standing down after 15 years as festival director.
The award-winning composer has met success as artistic director of Melbourne's International Arts Festival and the city's millennium eve party.
He said: "I am both excited and humbled to be offered the opportunity."
Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson said she was looking forward to working with Mr Mills.
Distinguished artistic pedigree
She said: "Scotland boasts many world-class artistic jewels, none more so than the Edinburgh International Festival.
"It is therefore fitting that Jonathan Mills, who has a distinguished artistic pedigree, commanding an excellent international reputation, should be appointed to lead the greatest arts event in the world.
"I am looking forward to working with him."
Sir Brian wished his successor well when he takes up what he described as "the best job in the world".
He said: "Every festival director brings their own personality to the programme, and it is a wonderful and exciting challenge to bring new values to this great event.
"I wish Jonathan every success."
The annual, three-week Edinburgh International Festival includes opera, theatre, dance and classical music.
This year's event runs from 13 August to 3 September.
The new director was appointed by members of the Edinburgh Festival Council, which is chaired by Lord Provost Lesley Hinds.
She said: "This is an exciting and important appointment for the city and I am confident that we have chosen the right person to continue to grow Edinburgh's international reputation for innovative, inspiring and high quality arts and cultural performances.
"He is an extremely exciting choice, and one I'm sure heralds clearly the future success of the festival as it enters its seventh decade."
Graham Berry, chief executive of the Scottish Arts Council, said: "We are delighted to welcome Jonathan to Edinburgh.
"He is an able and experienced successor to Brian, internationally recognised and we look forward to working with him."
Mr Mills, who plans to move to Edinburgh in October, will be responsible for the 2007 Festival onwards.