Edinburgh International Festival names new executive director

The Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) names new executive director. Picture: TSPL
The Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) names new executive director. Picture: TSPL
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A woman given an OBE for her work in the arts sector has been appointed to a key role at the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF).

Francesca Hegyi has been named as the EIF’s next executive director and is set to take up the post in February 2019.

Ms Hegyi was recognised in this year’s New Year’s Honours list for her work as the executive director of Hull’s UK City of Culture programme in 2017.

She said she feels “privileged and excited” to be appointed to join festival director Fergus Linehan on the leadership team.

“I first experienced the International Festival as a student in Edinburgh nearly 30 years ago and have watched and admired its growth since then,” she said.

“As well as being the cultural highlight of the year, it plays a vital role in the life of the city, for residents as well as the many visitors it attracts. I can’t wait to help shape the next chapter of its future.”

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Ms Hegyi, who previously studied and worked in Edinburgh, has worked in culture and the arts for more than two decades.

Her career has included roles at the Science Museum in London and as a senior adviser to the organising committee for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

She will take over her new post from Joanna Baker who has been EIF executive director for the past 12 years.

Mr Linehan said: “We are delighted to welcome Fran to the International Festival in this important leadership role.

“Fran has a strong connection with our city and has a reputation for delivering work of an international standard that creates lasting value in the communities in which it is performed.”

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