CIMF Artistic Director Roland Peelman shares why Einstein is his inspiration.

Big ideas have the power to change everything, and one of the biggest in the history of humanity has proven a generous muse for Roland Peelman, the new Artistic Director of the Canberra International Music Festival. A century has passed since one of the greatest scientific minds who ever lived, Albert Einstein, devised his Theory of Relativity and transformed our view of the universe forever. The anniversary of this monumental achievement has become the seed from which this year’s CIMF programme has grown.

However, while Einstein’s epiphany about the workings of the cosmos is undeniably significant, it might not seem an obviously fruitful jumping-off point for programming a music festival. In an aptly intellectual fashion, Peelman has uncovered a web of artistic connections, some overt, others more philosophical, linking back to the great scientist. “I should make it clear that this festival isn’t specifically about the Theory of Relativity, or Einstein as such,” Peelman shares paradoxically. “But this anniversary and the figure of Einstein gave me plenty of ideas, angles and perspectives to create a programme that is diverse as well as coherent.”


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