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2-12 May 2019

Ten days of expertly curated music performed by internationally celebrated artists, with thought-provoking conversations and culinary surprises on the side – that’s the Canberra International Music Festival.

Twenty five years ago, members of the Canberra community who shared a love of music began presenting concerts in private homes and embassies. From these small beginnings, the Festival has grown to become a 10-day event with a national reputation for its commitment to excellence and innovation.

See the city in all its seasonal beauty and experience masterpieces on period instruments, delve into the great epics of the past and discover the music of our time in new ways.

Artistic Director Roland Peelman and the festival team are hard at work creating a program that will ensure the 25th Festival, running 2 – 12 May 2019, is the best Festival yet.

The full program will be announced on 12 November. Here are some pithy words of Roland, as an indication of what is to come.

To celebrate CIMF's first 25 years and prepare for the next quarter century, the music of J.S. BACH is our central focus.

Bach as a universal figure in music. Bach as an anti-fashion icon. Bach as a master of counterpoint and a potent symbol for today’s multiplicity of voices.  

The 2019 Festival will rejoice in the ever-deepening mastery of baroque specialists from Australia and Europe, their quest to reveal the intricate fabric of Bach’s perpetual musical flow, their dedication to his sound and sense of structure. And yet, the majesty of Bach’s musical architecture is not exclusive to the harpsichord or the gamba. For more than two hundred and fifty years now, musicians have found new pathways to the music of this Leipzig Cantor and we expect the digital age to shed new light again on Bach’s mighty oeuvre. Be it through the eloquence of an 18th century period performance, the passion of the 19th century Bach-revival, the composure of 20th century cool, or the latter-day Bach, re-discovered, re-imagined and re-mixed, our 2019 Festival might just add something to the great Bach traditions. But above all, we want to give you young Bach, the improviser who, on the spot, could take a musical idea further than anyone had thought possible. The Bach who failed to impress those town councillors in Leipzig in 1723, but has convinced every generation since.  


The 2019 Festival program will be launched on 12 November 2018.

 Tickets for members will be available from 12 November and to the general public from the 19 November.

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