Past festivals

2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004


A festival of firsts! Our first festival with our new name, and a program full of new initiatives including 8 world premieres and 14 Australian premiere performances. The 2008 Festival featured almost 80 events in venues across Canberra, with some of Australia’s finest performers together with internationally renowned artists. This year’s event also incorporated Sounds Alive ’08, a special program of 12 concerts of cutting edge new music curated by Lisa Moore.

The Canberra International Music Festival 2008 featured many new initiatives designed to include a broader cross section of the community. Our Education Program welcomed 10,000 Primary school students to chamber music concerts held at The National Film and Sound Archive, The National Library of Australia and The National Gallery of Australia. With assistance from the Chief Minister’s Community Inclusion Fund, we commissioned local composer and song writer Peter J Casey to write Tiger Look at This: The Canberra Cantata. This work all about Canberra incorporated local choirs and performers including the Canberra Youth Choir, the Singing Ambassadors, The RMC All-Stars Big Band and Shortis and Simpson. We held a Young Artist Day in partnership with the National Film and Sound archive featuring young composers and performers.

Once again we offered a range of both ticketed and free events, including two events on Mother’s Day for families. Yes Ma’am was a concert by the New RMC Steamboat Stompers in the Senate Courtyard of Old Parliament House, while the National Gallery hosted an Autumn Promenade with concerts in various gallery spaces. These events and the Cantata performance were free. Our Education Program concerts were supported by the host venues and Pro Musica and offered free of charge to children, who covered their transport costs to and from the venues only.

Perhaps the best indicator of the success of the event this year was the strong attendance across the full program that incorporated classical string quartets to late night cabaret with nose flutes, and the wonderful atmosphere at the event both during the festival and in the planning stage.

We experienced an increased level of support from the local community, through sponsorships and in-kind support from National Institutions and businesses which enabled us to offer a program of outstanding depth and variety. New partners who joined us in 2008 included The National Film and Sound Archive, The National Museum of Australia, Better Music, Limelight Magazine and WIN Television.

Critical feedback from within the arts and music community about the quality of our program and the artists presented have ensured that the festival is now well and truly on the national map, assisting us in our goal of becoming the finest boutique music festival in Australia.


The Swiss Piano Trio, Elena Kats-Chernin, The Sculthorpe Quartet with William Barton, Nicole Canham, Lisa Moore, CeLL, So Percussion, David Pereira, Rebecca Collins, Clarity Clarinet Quartet, the Australian String Quartet, Robyn Archer and Paul Grabowsky, David Sequeira, the RMC Steamboat Stompers, Louise Page, Jouissance, Colleen Rae-Gerard and Yury Gezentsvey, Martin Bresnick, Eileen Mack, the Topology Ensemble, Iain Grandage, the Crash Ensemble, Ensemble Offspring, “Mr Tim” Bevitt, the Grainger Quartet, Tango Futur, Polygraph Lounge, Rob Schwimmer, the Dean Emmerson Dean Trio, Iva Bittova, Geoffrey Lancaster and Alan Hicks, Peter J Casey, the Big Band of the Royal Military College, the Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire, Susanne Powell, the Don Byron Ivey-Divey Trio, Drumatix, and Stopera.

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The final notes of the Festival have well and truly faded, but we wanted to report to our valued friends and supporters on our progress in 2007. The 2007 Festival featured a total of 45 events in venues across Canberra, with some of Australia’s finest performers together with internationally renowned artists.

The Children’s Festival and the Musical Chairs project proved popular with young people and their families and paved the way for our biggest Education program undertaking in 2008 – the offer of a free concert experience to all Primary School children. 12,000 children are registered to enjoy a concert at the festival in 2008 through this program.

We experienced an increased level of support from the local community, through sponsorships and in-kind support from National Institutions and businesses including an invitation from the Australia Council to apply for Key Organisation funding, an excellent indicator of the artistic excellence of the program and the success of our audience building initiatives.

Media publicity achieved made this the most visible Festival by far and was resoundingly positive. The standard of performance from the musicians, their inspiring interaction with the audience, and the obvious delight of people at the event confirmed that we are moving towards producing the finest boutique music festival in Australia.


T’ang Quartet, the Royal Military College Band Brass Quintet, Pastance, Philippe Cuper, Susanne Powell, Genevieve Lacey, Stephen Grant, John Bolton, Silver Garburg Piano Duo, dominantSEVEN, Guitar Trek, Jouissance, Elena Kats-Chernin, Peter J Casey, Louise Page, Philippa Candy, the Old Spice Boys, Lisa Moore, Martin Bresnick, Coco’s Lunch, the Sydney Consort with Phillip Hinton, Duo Sol with Claire Edwardes, Ensemble of the Classic Era, Nicole Canham and Anton Wurzer, Julian Thompson, “Mr Tim” Bevitt, Stephen Leek, the Griffyn Ensemble.

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Haydn Bande, Australian Baroque Brass, Silver Garburg Piano Duo, Dimitri Ashkenazy, Susanne Powell, the New Dutch Academy Chamber Soloists, Stopera, Stephen Leek, Clarity Clarinet Quartet, Tim Bevitt, Pastance, Strike a Chord, the Casals Academy Cello Quartet, Nick Parnell, Leigh Harrold, T’ang Quartet, Genevieve Lacey, Karin Schaupp, Southern Cross Soloists, Lisa Moore, Julian Thompson, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, the Southern Cross Soloists, Max McBride, Douglas Macnicol.

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Silver Garburg Piano Duo, Martina Schucan, Genevieve Lacey, Paul Hoxbro, Guitar Trek, Genevieve Lacey, Guitar Trek, Haydn Bande, Stopera, Rebecca Collins, Gary Rowley, Adam Maher, Vivienne Winther, Carinthia Saxophone Quartet, Tankstream Quartet, Linnaeus Quartet, FourPlay electric string quartet, Vernon Hill, Virginia Taylor, Jane Edwards, Marshall McGuire, Consort Eclectus, Miriam Morris, Ruth Wilkinson, Laura Vaughan, Victoria Watts, Max McBride, Teresa Rabe, Nicole Canham, Mary Broughton.

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Rubio Quartet, Silver Garburg Piano Duo, Monika Leskovar, Esther van Stralen, Neal da Costa, Daniel Yeadon, Genevieve Lacey, Timothy Kain, Susanne Powell, Geoffrey Lancaster, Celina Lindsley, Canberra Wind Soloists.

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ACT Government

Sounds Alive