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Edinburgh International Festival Q&As: Garry Walker

Garry Walker talks to HeraldScotland about limestone, the Highlands, and Scottish football.

Image: Jack Liebeck
Image: Jack Liebeck

Tell us about your show at the International Festival

I'm doing the Virgin Money Festival Fireworks, the final event of the International Festival, and a truly great Edinburgh event.

Best thing about the Festival?

The atmosphere on the streets

Worst thing about the Festival?

The traffic on the streets

How many years have you been coming to the Festival?

I've been coming to the festival as a punter since I was about 10, and as a performer since 2003.

Best Festival memory?

Conducting MacMillan's The Quickening, Mahler 2 or the opening concert of the Festival when we did Kurtag's incredible piece Stele.

Craziest on stage experience?

Conducting a piece where a block of stone was carved throughout it.You'd be amazed how far chips of limestone can travel...

How do you wind down after a show?

Sweep up limestone slivers from concert hall floors...

What do you love about Scotland?

The wildness and beauty of the Highlands and its diversity. That a small country can have the Cairngorms, Cuillin and Torridon is very special.

What do you like about Edinburgh?

The fact that it is small enough to walk around and has so many hills to view it from. Architecture's not bad either.

What's the most Scottish thing you've done?

Be born here.

Do you have a favourite joke?

Scottish Football.

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