Around 250,000 spectators watched the event across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife, with visitors to the Scottish capital joined residents to fill Princes Street Gardens, the surrounding streets and vantage points across the city, to enjoy the annual finale to the International Festival and the closing event of Edinburgh’s summer festival season.
More than 400,000 fireworks were launched during the concert in a display designed by Keith Webb of Pyrovision, synchronised perfectly to music performed live by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Clark Rundell.
Before the Fireworks display, audiences enjoyed a selection of songs from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story in a celebration of the legendary American composer’s centenary. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra were joined by opera stars Nicky Spence and Lucy Crowe who brought to life Bernstein’s iconic musical.
The traditional ‘Waterfall’ captivated the audience as it descended over 130 feet down the Castle Rock, during the closing bars of Holst’s Saturn, lasting for around 1 minute.
Earlier in the day, the fourth consecutive Virgin Money Schools Concert took place at the Ross Theatre in Princes St Gardens, which was enjoyed by over 2000 Primary 7 pupils from schools across Edinburgh, who enjoyed live music from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra who warmed up for its evening concert with a performance of The Planets. A specially made film accompanied the concert, which introduced pupils to facts about planetary activity, and even included a special video message from UK astronaut Tim Peake.
Tim Peake said: “Hello Edinburgh – I hear you’re at a special schools’ concert celebrating space with a performance of The Planets. Although I’ve been to space, I’ve never visited any of the planets – maybe someday one of you will. I hope you have a great afternoon and enjoy the music.”
Director of the Edinburgh International Festival said, ‘This year’s Virgin Money Fireworks Concert was absolutely amongst the best displays of its kind anywhere in the world. I would like to thank Virgin Money for their continued support of this incredible community event, and for their additional support which this year made possible the second of our Edinburgh Schools Concerts. The Fireworks Concert is always an amazing way to end the Edinburgh International Festival and to bring the city’s bumper summer festivals season to a close.’
Andrew Nicholson said: “Virgin Money is delighted to support the world-famous end of Festival Fireworks Concert and it is a fitting finale to what has been another wonderful International Festival. The display was stunning and the performance by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra was breath-taking.