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Francesca Hegyi named new executive director of Edinburgh International Festival

Francesca Hegyi Francesca Hegyi
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Edinburgh International Festival has appointed Francesca Hegyi as its new executive director, from February 2019.

She is taking over from Joanna Baker, who steps down at the end of this year after 12 years in the role and 26 years at the EIF.

Hegyi joins the EIF from Hull City of Culture 2017, for which she was also executive director. She was appointed an OBE in the 2018 New Year honours, having secured funding for and delivering 2,800 events over the year.

After studying at Edinburgh University, Hegyi began her career in the museum sector, first at the Science Museum in London, then as a policy adviser to the Scottish Museums Council in Edinburgh.

In 2005 she was appointed senior adviser to the London organising committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Hegyi said she felt “privileged and excited” to take up the role, adding: “I first experienced the International Festival as a student in Edinburgh nearly 30 years ago and have watched and admired its growth since then.

“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.”

Welcoming Hegyi’s appointment, EIF director Fergus Linehan said: “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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