THE late Paul Henderson Scott, always a questioning presence at Edinburgh Festival launch press conferences, would have found little to complain of in the programme that director Fergus Linehan unveiled on Wednesday, even it lacks a staging of Sir David Lyndsay’s Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis.

Scott, a cultural spokesman drawn from the patrician wing of nationalism, was exercised by a perceived lack of representation of indigenous arts in the capital’s International Festival, but this year Scottish companies are to the fore in each of the performing arts, with all our national performing arts companies represented.

This has been achieved without any apparent reduction in the festival’s global programming reach and the reach of the festival within Edinburgh and its environs itself grows ever wider with 16 venues listed in the grid at the back of the brochure to which all Festivalgoers turn to plan their schedule.

Of the capital’s two top flight football teams, I’d guess that Paul Scott was most likely a Hearts man, so he would have welcomed the innovative opening event at Tyncastle, which breaks crucial ground for the EIF, as Linehan explains:

“The orchestra’s residency is an attempt to look at what the LA Philharmonic does. It is an extraordinary institution and a model for what a symphony orchestra can be. We wanted to reflect the different elements of the orchestra’s work under the leadership of conductor Gustavo Dudamel, most notably with a very different approach to our opening event. It has been about working with technology on the streets of Edinburgh, which has been fabulous, but we wanted to try something different, with Festival music.

“Tynecastle Stadium is in a part of the city that we haven’t done anything. The other side of the equation is that the LA Phil may be based in Disney Hall in Los Angeles, but their other venue is the Holywood Bowl, and they move between those spaces. Huge accessible concerts are part of what they do.

“Playing music from the Golden Age of Hollywood and by composer John Williams, our opening event will be for 15,000 people and it will be free, and we’ll be doing a lot of work with the community and in Tynecastle High School to make it resonate there.”

If the transformation of Tynecastle into Edinburgh’s Hollywood Bowl (for one night only) draws new recruits into the Usher Hall for one of the LA Phil’s other concerts during its residency at the start of this year’s Festival, it will have been a worthwhile exercise. And with the EIF having already embraced Leith in its use of Leith Theatre for music events and partnership with Leith Academy school, Hibs fans can have little cause for complaint.

As Linehan conceded, that Leith Theatre programme is less focused on Scottish musicians than it was last year, but Teenage Fanclub are there, and Edinburgh’s Shooglenifty bring their international contacts in traditional music to the Lyceum. All three of Scotlands’ orchestras, the RSNO, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the BBC SSO, have concerts as part of the Festival’s marking of the 60th birthday of composer Sir James MacMillan, in which the event’s own performing ensemble, the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, also have a crucial role in their first year under new director Aidan Oliver.

Tynecastle to become 'Hollywoodland' for one night in August: Edinburgh Festival director explains opening show

With a week-long run for London’s National Theatre, with David Hare’s Peter Gynt, Scotland-set version of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, and a Chinese take on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, choreographed by Yang Liping and designed by Oscar winner Tim Yip, both at the Festival Theatre, that venue only hosts one opera this year, Barrie Kosky’s sumptuous staging of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. But Scottish Opera makes a potentially very exciting return to the Festival at the King’s, with a new production of Breaking the Waves, Missy Mazzoli’s adaptation of the Lars Von Trier movie which won its star, Emily Watson, a Herald Angel award when it premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival in the mid-1990s. This European premiere of a work that won America’s best new opera award in 2017 is being made in collaboration with Opera Ventures, the Scottish company’s partner for its last Festival success, Mark Anthony Turnage’s Greek, and it is directed by Tom Morris, whose successes include War Horse and English National Opera’s The Death of Klinghoffer.

In recent years, concert performances of operas have been the Festival’s key tactic in filling the perceived deficit in staged productions, which are expensive to buy in. This year Edinburgh’s Donald Runnicles conducts the Deutche Oper Berlin, where he has been music director for ten years, in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut with soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role, and counter-tenor Iestyn Davies, Sophie Bevan and Rowan Pierce sing Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. The real hot opera tickets at the Usher Hall, however, will be for early music pioneer Sir John Eliot Gardiner directing two concert performances of Bernstein’s 20th century West Side Story with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the RSNO teaming up once more with Sir Andrew Davies for the culmination of the Festival’s Ring cycle. Wagner’s Gotterdammerung closes the Festival on August 25 with Scots mezzos Karen Cargill and Catriona Morison joining Christine Goerke’s Brunnhilde in the cast.

Scottish Ballet is also back, at Edinburgh Playhouse, with the world premiere of its much-anticipated version of Arthur Miller’s classic and always-resonant play, The Crucible. Choreographed by Helen Pickett, it has music by the appropriately-named Peter Salem, who also scored the company’s version of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, as well as BBC television’s Call the Midwife.

Sir James MacMillan to have 60th birthday celebration at 2019 Edinburgh Festival

The National Theatre of Scotland takes its place alongside companies from Ireland, Africa and across North America in a strand of performance programming examining the place of creativity in the modern world, You Are Here. These shows, some of them on the smaller scale that the Festival has explored in recent years, are being presented in association with the British Council, the University of Edinburgh’s Futures Institute and independent producer Fuel, led by Kate McGrath, which has been behind some of the best work on the Fringe in recent years. The NTS shows are both world premieres: Tanika Gupta’s already-announced adaptation of Scottish Makar Jackie Kay’s memoir Red Dust Road, and writer and performer Tim Crouch’s new work Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation. Its long run of performances in The Studio at the Festival Theatre is interwoven with a revival of Birds of Paradise Theatre’s acclaimed dance-theatre piece Purposeless Movements, made by Robert Softley Gale, whose My Left/Right Foot won the company a Herald Angel last year in its co-production with the NTS.

Elsewhere in the music programme, Scotland’s international percussion star Colin Currie brings his own group to the Usher Hall to play Sofia Gubaidulina’s concerto with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and the National Youth Choir of Scotland performs James Macmillan’s moving contribution to the 14-18 NOW programme commemorating the First World War, All the Hills and Vales Along, with the Whitburn Brass Band in Greyfriars Kirk.

John Butt and the Dunedin Consort not only make two appearances performing Bach in Queen’s Hall series of morning concerts, but the first of these, featuring massed harpsichords, is also the conclusion of a tea-time series of performances it is curating at the beautifully-restored St Cecilia’s Hall, with soloists including Rachel Podger, Mahan Esfahani, Masato Suzuki and Richard Egarr.

“I do feel that we are now much more woven in the fabric of all the Scottish companies,” says Linehan. “And I think finding that connection as an international festival with the cultural life of the city and the country is very, very important.”

The Edinburgh International Festival 2019 runs August 1 to 26. Booking opens at 10am on Saturday April 6.