Page last updated at 21:00 GMT, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 22:00 UK

Conductor given festival honour

Sir Charles Mackerras
Sir Charles is one of the world's finest conductors

Veteran conductor Sir Charles Mackerras has been named as the new honorary president of the Edinburgh International Festival Society.

Festival Director Jonathan Mills said the accolade was in recognition of the wonderful performances he had brought festival audiences over 56 years.

Sir Charles, 82, is only the second person to be invited to become honorary president of the festival society.

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin held the post from 1989 until his death in 1999.

Music director

Sir Charles was born in the United States to Australian parents, before growing up in Australia.

He made his first appearance at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1952 with Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet.

He returned in 1958 as music director for a season of 12 ballet premieres.

In more recent years he is renowned for his performances at the Usher Hall with orchestras including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hanover Band, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

Soloists who have shared the festival platform with Sir Charles include Christian Zacharias, Felicity Lott, Sarah Walker, Philip Langridge, John Williams, Bryn Terfel, Ian Bostridge, Lisa Milne and Simon Keenlyside.

As a genuine Scotsman, it is a great honour to be given this position and to follow on in such distinguished footsteps
Sir Charles Mackerras

In 2006 Mackerras conducted a series of Beethoven's Nine Symphonies.

Jonathan Mills said: "To honour his commitment and his wonderful artistry, the festival is very proud to announce Sir Charles Mackerras as its honorary president, and we are delighted that he has accepted this position."

Sir Charles said: "As a genuine Scotsman, it is a great honour to be given this position and to follow on in such distinguished footsteps.

"Since my debut at the festival in 1952, it has always played a very important part of my musical life and to have a continuing relationship with the festival is a great honour indeed."


Pauline McLean Pauline McLean's blog
The end of the festival means getting back to Corrie
LATEST NEWS
FESTIVAL FEATURES
EDINBURGH FACTS
IN VIDEO
WEBSITE LINKS
 

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific