The Canberra International Music Festival 2017: Mozart to Super Mario | HerCanberra

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The Canberra International Music Festival 2017: Mozart to Super Mario

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It’s that time of year again. When bells ring out and violins can be heard singing from all corners of the city.

With everything from Mozart to Super Mario, the Canberra International Music Festival will be in full swing from 27 April to 7 May.

This year we’ll see large concerts, intimate gatherings, poets, orchestras, jazz quartets and even a concert inside the Canberra International Airport.

There is so much to choose from that we’ve trawled through the list and come up with something for everyone.


There is so much here for lovers of music from the Baroque, classical, romantic periods and well as the 20th Century; from Bach, to Mozart, Schubert, Shostakovich, Janáček. Whether you are well-versed in these styles or want to taste it for the first time, there are so many opportunities at diverse venues such as the Canberra International Airport, the Fitter’s Workshop, Llewellyn Hall and country restaurants.


Here are two really different picks:

The Simón Bolívar String Quartet are bringing their Latin American flavour to classical music’s most iconic quartet repertoire. Catch them at Meet The Artists (29 April), The Opening Gala (28 April) and The Education Revolution talk (5 May).

Daily, at sunset, in the James Turrell Skyspace, from 1-5 May, double bassist Rohan Dasika will transform this space into something even more magical. Check here for times as they vary from day to day.


Australia’s own jazz icon James Morrison will be performing with his quartet at The Fitter’s Workshop in Kingston at 7.30pm on Saturday April 29. This trumpeting legend will be playing a rare treat with his quartet in this gorgeous venue.

Also, from the look of the surnames of the bass player and the guitarist, it appears this is a family affair. Definitely not to be missed. If you’ve recently watched La La Land, here’s a chance to go and experience Sebastian’s love of jazz and hear the improvised ideas passed from one instrument to the other and back again.


For hipsters and nerds alike (or anyone who wants to reminisce back to their 80s/90s upbringing), check out the Game On! concert at Llewellyn Hall on Saturday May 6 from 1pm-2.15pm. In this super fun concert, there will be video game music performed by Topology and Canberra Youth Orchestra with everything from Super Mario, to Tetris and Call of Duty.

Leonard Weiss

Leonard Weiss

I was more of an outdoors kid back in those days, but on the many long road trips we made use of the small handheld video games, and this concert will take you back there (maybe give this a miss if it will just remind you of fighting with your sister over whose turn it was to play Tetris).


I have a confession, I’ve never read Blinky Bill, so to make up for this omission of my Australian upbringing I’ll be heading along to this year’s kids concert (hopefully it won’t be too awkward because, well, I don’t have kids). But for those of you that do, this will be beautiful. Blinky Bill has been brought to life as a musical tale featuring an all-Australian score by Boyd, Edwards, Grainger, Pollard, Sculthorpe and Westlake.

If you don’t know these Australian composers, that’s ok, but it’s time to get acquainted with them. Peter Sculthorpe is my personal favourite of these composers—he used to give master classes when I was at university. The orchestra would actually sound like the Australian Bush and its animals, so truly, this should be a very special concert. He even claimed that he invented the “seagull” technique on the cello, so there’s something to listen out for!


You might not think of an airport as a likely location for a sumptuous sound bath of classic composition but that’s exactly what will be happening on Tuesday 2 May for Taking Flight.

Simon Bolivar Quartet

Simon Bolivar Quartet

Canberra International Airport will overflow with talent as the Simón Bolívar String Quartet, Ding Yi Music Company, The Song Company and the China Orient Orchestra fill the brand new space with an international showcase of talent.

the essentials

What: The Canberra International Music Festival
When: 27 April to 7 May 2017
Where: Various locations across Canberra and the surrounds

HerCanberra is a proud sponsor of The 2017 Canberra International Music Festival

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