IT’S the highlight of the Festival season for thousands, the evening when the city looks skyward as darkness falls in expectation of another spectacular fireworks display.
This year, before the fireworks dance across the night sky, the strains of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra will perform songs from Leonard Bernstein’s iconic musical West Side Story.
They will be joined by opera stars tenor Nicky Spence and soprano Lucy Crowe who will sing the roles of Tony and Maria, the doomed lovers from the feuding streets of 1950s New York City at the centre of Bernstein’s retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story.
The pair are set to perform some of the best loved songs from the musical, including Maria and Somewhere, in celebration of the centenary of American composer Bernstein.
Bernstein was born in Massachusetts on 25 August 1918, and a number of his works are performed across the closing weekend of the International Festival to mark his centenary.
To set the mood ahead of the fireworks presentation, Spence and Crowe’s performance will take place in the first part of the evening.
This is the second year that there has been an additional first part to the event ahead of the traditional fireworks.
After a short interval, the second part of the evening will see the SCO take the audience into deepest space with music from Gustav Holst’s The Planets, accompanied overhead by 400,000 fireworks lighting up the sky against the unique backdrop of the Castle.
The Virgin Money Fireworks Concert is the largest fireworks concert of its type in the world and is enjoyed annually by around 250,000 people at various vantage points across the Capital and its surrounds.
Ahead of the Fireworks Concert, for the fourth consecutive year a Schools Concert takes place at the Ross Theatre in Princes St Gardens on the morning of Monday 27 August, at which more than 2000 P7 pupils from schools across the city will experience live music played by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Tickets from Hub Tickets at International Festival HQ The Hub, by phone on 0131 473 2000 or online at eif.co.uk