Canberra International Music Festival (CIMF) is delighted to announce that acclaimed composer, performer, conductor and director Eugene Ughetti has been appointed as our new artistic director. Eugene will succeed Roland Peelman AM in July 2024, after Roland’s final festival in May.

CIMF Chair Genevieve Jacobs says, “After a national search attracting an outstanding field of candidates, we are delighted to announce Eugene Ughetti’s appointment.

“Eugene presented us with a compelling vision for CIMF’s future, building on the standards of excellence established by Roland Peelman since 2015.

“CIMF has been extraordinarily fortunate in the calibre of our artistic directors and we’re excited about this new era, aligning with the ACT’s ambition to become Australia’s arts capital”. The founding artistic director of the innovative Speak Percussion ensemble, Eugene is known for tackling ambitious art music projects. He has collaborated with most of Australia’s leading new music ensembles and with guiding lights in new music including Pierre Boulez, Liza Lim, Steve Reich and John Zorn. He has composed works for The Australian Ballet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, ABC, and Bionics Institute, and has worked with some of the world’s finest conductors including Valery Gergiev, James Levine and Charles Dutoit.

“I am thrilled to embark on this wonderful journey,” says Eugene. “CIMF stands as one of Australia’s most distinguished art music festivals, set against the backdrop of world-class institutions, remarkable architecture, and breathtaking sites. It boasts a rich legacy of excellence and innovation, having been a catalyst for numerous new Australian compositions. All of this unfolds within the vibrant context of a progressive and intellectually driven city.

“Curating projects and fostering collaborations involving the finest local, national, and international musicians is an extraordinary privilege, and I am deeply grateful for this opportunity. I eagerly anticipate immersing myself in the numerous possibilities, exploring points of collaboration, and nurturing the creative potential that CIMF offers.”

Eugene won the inaugural Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship (2012), MCA/Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music (2011), OZCO Creative Music Fellowship, and various national Art Music Awards for his work with Speak Percussion.

Photo credit: Bryony Jackson