2020 Canberra International Music Festival

Spend five days at the Canberra International Music Festival, under the theme of ‘Giving Voice,’ with fine performances by leading musicians from Australia and abroad.

With writer, broadcaster and Festival board director Genevieve Jacobs, attend eight performances of the Festival, performed by musicians from the United States, Europe and Asia.

Attend the Festival’s showcase performance of Haydn’s The Creation, performed by the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra on historical instruments with the Sydney Chamber Choir and conducted by Jakob Lehmann. Enjoy performances by American countertenor Reginald Mobley, Indigenous Australian violinist Eric Avery and didgeridoo virtuoso William Barton among others in the atmospheric surrounds of Kingston’s Fitters’ Workshop, as well as the High Court of Australia and Parliament House.

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

At 17:00, join Genevieve and fellow travellers for a welcome briefing and cocktail reception at the hotel.

This evening, attend the Opening Gala of the Canberra International Music Festival at the Fitters’ Workshop, a transformed heritage-listed building in the heart of the Kingston Cultural Precinct, featuring the world premiere of new works by this year’s composer in residence, Kate Neal, and the festival’s First Nations composer, Brenda Gifford.  The Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra will perform a selection of works with the Australian Art Orchestra. They will be joined by violinists Eric Avery and Veronique Serret, William Barton playing the didgeridoo and Reginald Mobley singing.

HandelWater Music (Extracts)
RebelLes Elemens, Simphonie nouvelle (1737)
Kate NealBeaver Blaze (World Premiere)
Eric Avery – violin/voice with William Barton and Veronique Serret
Brenda GiffordThe Elements (world premiere)


After breakfast attend a pre-performance talk by Genevieve followed by a performance in the Fitters’ Workshop featuring the Van Kuijk String Quartet. This highly-awarded quartet from France has previously won the Wigmore Hall String Quartet Competition, and the associated Best Beethoven Prize.

Mozart – D
vertimento K 137
Rihm – Quartetstudie
Schumann – String Quartet in A Minor op 41 no. 3

After some free time for lunch, continue the day’s program with a performance by the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra featuring Japanese pianist Keiko Shichijo.

Beethoven – Trio op 38
Louise Farrenc – Nonet op 38

After an early dinner at the hotel, attend a performance of cross-cultural collaborations including Hand to Earth, a collaboration between Korean jazz-vocalist Sunny Kim and Yolngu singer Daniel Wilfred.

William Barton & Simon BarkerFeet to Earth (new collaboration)
Sunny Kim, Daniel Wilfred & Peter KnightHand to Earth


Start the morning with a before-hours visit to the National Portrait Gallery for a curator-guided visit of the inaugural Darling Portrait Prize and the National Photographic Portrait Prize.

Then walk to the High Court of Australia for a performance of Machaut’s monumental Messe de Notre Dame. The concert is a tribute to grand architecture from the heydays of cathedral building set in Australia’s high cathedral of the law. The performances feature a chorus of clarion singers, vocalists Gian Slater and James Ioelu, and pianist Guy Livingston.

Guillaume de Machaut – Messe de Notre Dame

Enjoy lunch at the National Portrait Gallery’s café before returning to the High Court for an exclusive tour of the Court’s art collection, which reflects the traditions, symbolism and practice of Australian law.

This evening, return to the Fitters’ Workshop for a performance of Baroque arias and songs by countertenor Reginald Mobley, accompanied by Roland Peelman on the piano.


Today, begin with a pre-performance talk by Genevieve, and then enjoy a performance at Parliament House capturing the spirit of Australian democracy. Enjoy performances by Delmae and William Barton, Daniel Wilfred, the Golden Gate Brass Quartet and the Australian Art Orchestra.

After the performance, take an exclusive behind-the-scenes and below-decks tour of sections of Australian Parliament House ordinarily closed to the public, before enjoying a special farewell lunch in Parliament’s Members’ and Guests’ Dining Room, usually reserved for visiting dignitaries.

This evening conclude the tour with a performance of Haydn’s oratorio The Creation at the Fitters’ Workshop featuring the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra with Sydney Chamber Choir and vocalists Celeste Lazarenko, Andrew Goodwin and James Ioelu, conducted by Jakob Lehmann.


Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements including an extra nights’ accommodation either before or after the tour.


Per person, twin-share

AUD 3,250

Single supplement*

AUD 500

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 750

All prices are per person, in AUD

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

Room category upgrade available on request; please enquire with us.

Final payment due

01 March 2019

Tour code


Fitness level

Please see booking conditions for fitness level definitions.

Suggested airline

Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.


New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit Australia.

Tour price includes

  • Category 1 tickets to all included performances
  • Accommodation in a centrally-located 5-star superior hotel with breakfast daily (B)
  • Pre-performance talks by your tour leader, Genevieve Jacobs
  • Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner, R = Reception), including wines with meals
  • Guided tours as per itinerary
  • Transportation on private, comfortable air-conditioned coaches
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers and waiting staff

Tour price does not include

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


Your hotel
Canberra – Hyatt Hotel Canberra *****

N.B. Hotel of a similar standard may be substituted.

Pre-and post-tour accommodation is available.+
Park King room including breakfast
AUD 350 (twin/double share)
AUD 325 (single)

+Subject to availability

Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Exterior

Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Lobby