Canberrans need not go to Leipzig this year, as Johann Sebastian Bach’s beautiful music is being masterfully brought to life right here this May for the 25th Canberra International Music Festival.
This year’s CIMF will revel in the ever-deepening artistry of baroque specialists from Australia and Europe as they converge here to perform amongst Canberra’s natural and cultural treasures with a host of concerts and events from breakfast to bedtime.
Proceedings will commence with a grand event combining virtuosic Baroque music with contemporary circus.
In their first ever Canberra concert, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Circa will give a dazzling season premiere, filling Llewellyn Hall with stunning music and acrobatics.
Another highlight of the program is one-off concert, Bach on the Mountain, led by Canberra composer and jazz pianist Mike Dooley.
It will commemorate the stars, and the researchers who gazed at them, on Mount Stromlo with a specially commissioned piece, The Heavens Declare.
Dooley’s dad, physicist James Dooley, worked at Mount Stromlo during the war years and played cello in the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.
“He loved Bach, so this composition is in the style of Bach, which I know he would have been thrilled about,” Dooley says.
The Heavens Declare will be performed by violinists Sarah Dayan and Cécile Roubin. Bach on the Mountain will also host a range of other performers, including New York pianist Dan Tepfer, visiting Latin American band Los Pitutos, and more.
The poignant performance will take place at the burnt-out shell of the Yale telescope on 8 May at 11.30am.
CIMF Artistic Director Roland Peelman says you’ve never seen, or heard, a Bach festival like this before.
“We have so many talented Canberrans in this festival, as our composers in residence, singing and performing, as well as performers from around the world.
“This year’s CIMF will see Australian and international world-class musicians play glorious music in venues right across town.
“No longer do you have to visit Leipzig and its annual Bach Festival in Bach’s home town. Our festival is both inventive and traditional, imaginative and a rediscovery of Bach,” Peelman says.
The CIMF will run a number of events at venues across town on 2-12 May; cimf.org.au