Canberra International Music Festival has announced their 2018 Festival Program.

Cecilia Bernardini, John Bell, Tim Fain, The Seven Harp Ensemble, Bach Akademie Australia, Roger Woodward and Dapper’s Delight are some of the artists and ensembles assembling in Canberra next year for the 24th Canberra International Music Festival, running from 27 April – 6 May 2018.

Next year’s event emphasises Indigenous culture, the ancient traditions of the bard, Baroque and classical music on period instruments and birthday tributes to Claude Debussy and Leonard Bernstein.

Amongst the highlights are a large-scale presentation of Handel’s masterpiece ‘Israel in Egypt’, the not-to-be-missed solo presentation of ‘Beowulf’ by Benjamin Bagby, two solo recitals by Roger Woodward, and Tim Fain (of virtual-violin fame) appearing in everything from Max Richter’s Four Seasons to Bernstein’s Serenade. Important milestones are a newly commissioned work by local Indigenous composer Brenda Gifford as well as the return of celebrated composer Mary Finsterer to Canberra as 2018 Composer-in-Residence.

“The Festival brings together the best of what Canberra has to offer,” artistic director Roland Peelman said.

“Iconic spaces, art and nature, a genuine thirst for the newest vibe as well as an understanding of the great foundation stones of Western music.”

New in the 2018 Festival is two events at the much-loved Arboretum and a major music presentation around the return of servicemen and women from war zones in the light of the centenary of the end of World War I.

Returning are the very popular Bach on Sunday concert, intimate conversations in the Talk of the Town series, the second annual Canberra Grammar School education day, free daily sunset performances in the Turrell Skyspace and the annual Festival Trip. For the fourth consecutive time, Fitter’s Workshop in Kingston is the festival hub.

The Festival’s interstate attendance has been growing, and Lonely Planet’s recent announcement of Canberra as a top travel destination in 2018 is expected to boost out-of-state attendance even further.

“The cultural landscape here in Canberra is changing faster than ever,” general manager Gavin Findlay said.

“What might be thought of as familiar can offer new surprises with each visit.”

Tickets start at $25 for students, up to $860 for a full Festival pass and are on sale now.