2018 Canberra International Music Festival

Spend four days at the Canberra International Music Festival for a wealth of fine music by Australian and international musicians.

With tour host ABC broadcaster and writer Genevieve Jacobs, attend nine performances of the Festival, exploring Baroque masterpieces of Handel and Bach, to the Impressionistic works of Debussy by pianist Roger Woodward, and world premieres by Festival composer-in-residence Mary Finsterer. Enjoy performances in the heart of Kingston’s cultural precinct, as well as the National Library, Portrait Gallery and High Court of Australia.

This tour is designed to be preceded by our Autumn on Monaro tour, visiting a selection of homesteads of historic significance, from working farms to elegant landscape gardens and artists’ studios.

Arrive in Canberra and make your way to the hotel. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other arrangements.

In the evening, join Genevieve and fellow travellers for an introductory talk and cocktail reception. At the Opening Gala, be captivated by the contemporary fusion of didgeridoo, contrabass flute, recorder and piano in the Fitters’ Workshop – a transformed heritage listed building in the heart of the Kingston Cultural Precinct.


After breakfast, attend a pre-performance talk by Genevieve followed by a concert by Dapper’s Delight (Susanna Borsch, recorder and Adrian Brown, Anglo concertina and voice), performing music that captures the flavour of the British music hall tradition. After lunch, return to the Fitters’ Workshop for Roger Woodward’s performance of Debussy’s Estampes, Images I and II and Chopin’s Études op 10.

In the evening, rediscover Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Max Richter’s Recomposed. Led by young violinist Tim Fain, and supported by the Festival Strings, Richter’s innovative work has impressed classical and contemporary music-lovers alike. Included in the programme is also Australia’s Seven Harp Ensemble, directed by Alice Giles.


Start the morning with a pre-performance talk by Genevieve, and then enjoy a programme of JS Bach’s works, centred on his rarely-performed Actus Tragicus and the second Brandenburg Concerto.

Later, in the National Gallery of Australia, share in Tennyson’s melodrama Enoch Arden, narrated by John Bell with Simon Tedeschi at the piano. Composed for piano and recitative by Richard Strauss, Tennyson’s epic poem depicts the tragic story of the shipwrecked Enoch, who returns home after ten years to find his wife married to his childhood rival.

In the early evening, return to the Fitters’ Workshop for classic chamber repertoire performed on period instruments, including Beethoven’s Violin Sonata op. 96 with Cecilia Bernardini and fortepianist Keiko Shichijo as well as players from the Orava Quartet.


Today, start with a pre-performance talk by Genevieve and then attend a series of performances of 20th and 21st century Australian music staged across the three locations of the National Library of Australia, the Portrait Gallery and the High Court. Performances include a new composition by Mary Finsterer for the viola d’amore and ‘cello, and the Seven Harp Ensemble.

Afterwards, enjoy a special farewell lunch with Genevieve and fellow travellers.

This evening, return to the Fitters’ Workshop for the centrepiece of the 2018 Canberra International Music Festival – Handel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt – with its exulting double choruses and grand orchestral forces. Directed by Roland Peelman, Israel in Egypt brings together a number of ensembles and artists, including Luminescence, Coro and the Bach Akademie Australia with Tobias Cole, Richard Butler, Andrew Fysh and Andrew O’Connor amongst the soloists.


Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.


Per person, twin-share

AUD 2,950

Single supplement*

AUD 500

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 500

*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.

*All prices are per person, in AUD

Final payment due

13 March 2018

Tour code


Fitness level

Please see booking conditions for fitness level definitions.


Please contact Renaissance Tours for current airfares and flight reservations.

Tour price includes

  • Category 1 tickets to all included performances
  • Pre-performance talks by your tour leader, Genevieve Jacobs
  • Accommodation in a centrally-located 4 star superior hotel with breakfast daily (B)
  • Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner, R = Reception), including wines with meals
  • Transportation throughout on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers

Tour price does not include

  • Flights to/from Canberra (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
  • Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure
  • Hotel porterage
  • Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, minibar, room service etc.
  • Travel insurance (recommended; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)


Your hotel
Canberra – Hotel Kurrajong ****

NB: Hotel of a similar standard may be substituted.

– Pre and post tour accommodation is available at this hotel.+
– Heritage room including breakfast from AUD $310 (twin/double share)
– Heritage room including breakfast from AUD $280 (single room)

+subject to availability

Renaissance Tours can assist you with your travel arrangements