Forget booking a flight overseas in 2023—the Canberra International Music Festival is back to transport you around the world next autumn.

From Britain and France to Ukraine, West Africa, and (of course) Australia, the Canberra International Music Festival (CIMF) will be filling the city with a colourful and diverse selection of music as 28 concerts—and 150 international and Australian musicians—bring a kaleidoscope of powerful performances to the nation’s capital.

Running from Friday, April 28 to Sunday, May 7 (and with tickets on sale now), we’ve found five you can’t miss.

Marloo’s Blues

Consider yourself a fan of the blues? This is your chance to hear one of Australia’s most authentic blues singers in action—Marlene Marlene Cummins, AKA ‘Marloo’. A saxophonist, activist and proud Guguyelandji, and Woppaburra woman, Marloo is considered one of Australia’s foremost Indigenous blues writers.

Performing in the tradition of legendary blues women Big Mama Thornton and Bessie Smith, her story is one of vulnerability, strength and, ultimately, survival. You can’t miss this.

Sunday 30 April, 2:30 pm – 3:40 pm | Fairfax Theatre, National Gallery of Australia | Tickets here.

French for Breakfast

Forget just grabbing a coffee and heading off for the day, why not kick it off in style with the perfect combination of delicious breakfast and exquisite French music?

Book in for a French for Breakfast session to hear music from 17th-century France (including the music of Louis Couperin, father of the famous François) gorgeous string quartets from 1903 (inspired by Debussy and dedicated to Fauré), and more. Bon appétit!

Monday 1 until Friday 5 May | Various locations | Tickets here 

Taste of the Country

Wine tasting, a two-course lunch, and two musical performances—this experience will offer you the chance to relax and recover from the Festival’s exertions with the best that life has to offer.

Set in the cool-climate winery of Contentious Character, Quatuor Van Kuijk will serve French quartet delicacies and Katie Yap will strike up the folk fiddle. See you there?

Tuesday 2 May, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm | Contentious Character Winery, Wamboin, NSW | Tickets here.

Of Faries and Fools

Enter a world of wonder in this evening concert inspired by rustic folk tales and elflike fantasy.

Taking place at the historic Fitters Workshop in Kingston, expect a session that delves into folklore, charming performances and even a musical miniature that conjures the wry image of a fool who in a world of madness dares to speak a clearer truth.

Tuesday 2 May, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm | Fitters’ Workshop, Printers Way, Kingston | Tickets here.

A Candle for Ukraine

This candle-lit performance will see some of Ukraine’s greatest songs (set to timeless poetry by the likes of Pushkin, Shelley, Mandelstam and Keats) by composer Valentin Silvestro come to life.

Forced to flee his home in Kyiv in early 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, from his new base in Berlin, Valentin Silvest continues to represent his country’s cultural identity with quiet determination. Sung by Australia’s most mellifluous tenor Andrew Goodwin, this performance will be an intimate statement about the power of poetry.