Just rewards

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Compared with Hugh Kerr (Letters, 11 August) I must be regarded as something of an Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) novice, having only attended since 1969, but I disagree totally with his view of the opening concert.

Of course Verdi’s Requiem is an exquisite piece of music and to hear it sung by world-class singers was exhilarating, but if the EIF just concentrates on churning out popular classics it will fossilise.

The pieces chosen for this year’s concert were obscure but very rewarding if the necessary homework had been done.

It is of interest that, when an 11-year-old Simon Rattle was considering which branch of music to follow, it was Schoenberg’s five orchestral pieces that persuaded him that it was the classics.

Let us just hope that there was a future Simon Rattle in the audience on Friday.

Roger Allen

Marchmont Road

Edinburgh