Free Tickets for Concert to Celebrate America’s Day of Independence

Celebrating both America’s Independence Day and the 75th anniversary year of the Edinburgh International Festival, EIF is thrilled to release over 3,000 tickets to a special free concert featuring The Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the USA’s leading orchestras.  The concert, named Thank You, Edinburgh, does what it says on the tin by thanking the people of Edinburgh for their support over the decades.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, has created a special family-friendly programme that includes, among others, favourite arias from Puccini’s La Bohème and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, the finale of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, hoe-down from Aaron Copland’s musical Rodeocelebrating the American West and Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers, inspired by an entry from Beethoven’s journal.

In the same spirit of gratitude, EIF is on the lookout for four Festival Heroes – people who’ve opened their hearts and their homes to strangers and played a part in welcoming the world to Edinburgh since 1947. Whether they helped an actor struggling to find accommodation, donated their coal ration to light the castle many years ago, opened their home to a Ukrainian refugee or delivered free meals to self-isolating people during the pandemic, they could be a Festival Hero!

These selected Festival Heroes will receive premium tickets for the concert, a voucher to enjoy a meal at Dine Edinburgh and a Lind & Lime distillery tour and their stories will be shared on the EIF website and in the Edinburgh Evening News in the weeks prior to the concert. 

 In addition to performing at Thank You, Edinburgh, The Philadelphia Orchestra takes up residence at the EIF across four concerts, demonstrating its versatility and breadth of music-making.

At the Usher Hall on Thursday 25th August, the Orchestra presents Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony then on Friday 26th August will play the First Symphony by Florence Price, who was the first Black woman composer to be performed by a major US orchestra and had its premiere in 1932.

The Orchestra also showcases some of its exceptional players in an intimate concert at the Queen’s Hallnamed Mozart Chamber Works where it will present Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet and Piano Concerto No.12.

Music Director and Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin  said I am looking forward to leading The Philadelphia Orchestra in Edinburgh for the first time and connecting with the warm and enthusiastic audiences who share such a deep love of classical music. Our performances throughout the International Festival, including this exciting free concert, are an authentic representation of who we are. We can’t wait to share in the joy of music together through repertoire that reflects our diverse world.”

The concert will also be relayed live to the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens. The first 100 people to attend the live unticketed relay in the Gardens will receive a free snack pack, supplied by EIF’s official partners The Pantry and Bon Accord.

To nominate someone as a Festival Hero please visit

The free tickets for the concert that will take place at the Playhouse at 3pm on Saturday, 27th August are now available to book at

Irene Brown

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