Canberra International Music Festival has unveiled its 2018 programme, with medieval harpist and performer Benjamin Bagby’s Beowulfand a large-scale performance of Handel’s oratorio Israel in Egyptamong the highlights, as well as artists such as Cecilia Bernardini, John Bell, Tim Fain, The Seven Harp Ensemble, Bach Akademie Australia, Roger Woodward and Dapper’s Delight.

While the 2017 CIMF focussed on revolution and social upheaval – it was the 100th anniversary year of the Russian revolutions – this year’s festival is united by a theme of ‘Return’.

“I wanted to do a festival that delves a little bit into the roots of our music making – our music practice, our music traditions, where they come from in a sense,” CIMF Artistic Director Roland Peelman told Limelight.

Roland Peelman, Canberra International Music Festival Canberra International Music Festival Artistic Director Roland Peelman. Photo © William Hall

Thus one of the highlights of the 2018 festival will be a performance of the Old English epic poem Beowulf(written down around the year 1000 but composed earlier) by medieval harpist Benjamin Bagby, who has reconstructed a one-man performance of the epic that has garnered praise around the world. “[Bagby] shifted from whispering, to...