11-13 October 2024

2024 Festival > Artistic Directors

Artistic Directors

Monica Curro

Violinist Monica Curro has been Assistant Principal 2nd Violin of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra since 1998, and was previously a core member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She has played with the Australian World Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and Guest Concertmaster of West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Auckland Chamber Orchestra. In 2009, Monica was invited as the only Australian to play in the World Orchestra for Peace, and has since joined them regularly for concerts around the world. Monica has appeared as soloist with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and recently premiered Stefan Cassomenos’ Double Violin Concerto. Monica was a member of the Board of Directors of the Australian Youth Orchestra for 9 years. She has tutored regularly for AYO, and has taught at various tertiary institutions. In 2016, Monica was the Director of the AYO’s Smalley Chamber Orchestra. Also in that year, she directed MSO’s outreach program in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Monica is currently joint Artistic Director the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, with pianist and composer Stefan Cassomenos. Monica is also Curator of the “Music at McClelland” series at McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery. Monica is sought after as a public speaker, giving regular pre-concert talks and conversations for major concert presenters, as well as keynote addresses at universities and educational organizations. Monica is a founding member of acclaimed ensemble PLEXUS, which since launching in 2014 has commissioned and premiered more than 110 new works.

Stefan Cassomenos

Internationally praised for his clarity, depth of expression, virtuosity and versatility, Melbourne-born Stefan Cassomenos is regarded as one of Australia’s leading concert pianists. His concerto repertoire now exceeds forty works, and has led to performances with the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Opera Australia Orchestra, and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. He has performed as a soloist at Tonhalle Zurich, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Beethoven Festival Bonn, Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, and at concert halls across Germany, Netherlands, England, Italy, Malta, Greece, Slovenia, Poland, Estonia, Russia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. In 2013, Cassomenos was a grand finalist and recipient of both the Second Grand Prize and the Chamber Music Prize at the International Telekom Beethoven Piano Competition Bonn. He studied on full scholarship at Melbourne University and the Australian National Academy of Music, mentored by Stephen McIntyre, Margarita Krupina, Ian Munro, and Michael Kieran Harvey. Cassomenos is a founding member of acclaimed ensemble PLEXUS, which since launching in 2014 has commissioned and premiered over 110 new works. Cassomenos began composing at an early age, giving the premiere of his own Piano Concerto No 1 with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at age 16. He has composed for Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Victorian Opera, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir, for German pianist Susanne Kessel, and for the Festival Neue Musik Rockenhausen. Cassomenos is currently co-Artistic Director, together with violinist Monica Curro, of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival. Cassomenos is generously supported by Kawai Australia.