11-13 October 2024

2024 Festival > Welcome

Artistic Directors

COSMOS – regenerating from a pandemic in 2022, and embracing the theme of Habitat in 2023, we expand our horizons in 2024 to marvel at the wonders of the Universe, and explore how philosophers, scientists, theologians and creatives have responded to its magnitude and mysteries since time began. The less we know about something, the more it fascinates us and the more we are compelled to understand it. Music has a unique way of expressing the inexplicable, and has the power to not only utilize and represent concepts of space and time, but also has the ability to bend and suspend them. This year, PFSMF presents a galaxy of stellar artists, and a heavenly host of sounds from across the ages.

Our musical sky is variously lit with intensity bursts of Beethoven and Brahms, and with the everlasting radiance of Schubert and Mozart; we sharpen our musical telescope on ancient trailblazers Gesualdo, Weelkes, Telemann and Biber; we embark on warp-speed treks with breathtaking modern melodists Korngold, Schulhoff, Messiaen, Bacewicz and Holst; we glide back to Earth on the transcendent, stargazing harmonies of Elgar, Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Czarnecki, Ravel and Debussy.

On returning home, we witness a spellbinding aurora of eight Australian composers – Shauntai Sherree Abdul-Rahman, Kevin March, Melody Eötvös, Luke Styles, Allara Briggs-Pattison, Stefan Cassomenos, Natalie Williams, and composer-in-residence Andrew Ford – including three world premieres.

Our starship’s crew includes esteemed string theorists Timo-Veikko Valve, Helena Rathbone, Christopher Moore, Zoë Black, the Orava Quartet, Elizabeth Sellars, Molly Kadarauch, Monica Curro, Campbell Banks, Douglas Rutherford, and members of Melbourne Chamber Orchestra; lauded aerodynamic engineers Carla Blackwood and Laila Engle; eminent applied astrophysicists Slava Grigoryan, Leonard Grigoryan, Hannah Lane, Louise Devenish, and Port Fairy Ring of Bells; expert navigation officers Stephen McIntyre, Rhodri Clarke, Toni Lalich and Stefan Cassomenos tapping away at the controls; an impressive squad of Southwest Victorian cosmonauts-in-training; and a starburst of intergalactic voices including Josh Piterman, Lotte Betts-Dean, Judith Dodsworth, Aurora Kurth, Anna-Lee Robertson, Demby McKenzie, the Consort of Melbourne, the PFSMF Chorus, and our annually awe-inspiring PFSMF Children’s Chorus – joining you all this October, for a mesmerizing journey across our boundless musical cosmos.


We are all thrilled to welcome our Friends and audiences, both long-standing and new back to Port Fairy, for what we hope will be a stellar Festival this year.

As Chair, I have the opportunity to see some ‘back of house’ scenes that are a reminder of how many people make vital contributions to the Festival’s success and consequently to the local community. Still shining brightly on my radar from last year is Dermot Tutty rehearsing local school students in the foyer of the Reardon, and Suzanne Brimacomb welcoming us to her house for a rehearsal withthe handbell group!

The Artistic Directors and Board all appreciate the support the Festival receives from Creative Victoria, the Moyne Shire, many corporate and philanthropic supporters and individuals who all share a commitment to the Festival’s musical ambitions and community contribution. The ‘with Covid’ challenges in the performing arts sector are still with us, and the financial and in-kind contributions we receive are vital to the sustainability of the Festival.

This year Monica and Stefan have put together another outstanding programme which reflects their passion and commitment to music making. The stars shine brightly in Port Fairy’s dark night sky, as will the musical stars in this year’s line-up. We look forward to seeing you at the Festival this year, in one of Victoria’s most beautiful places.

Welcome from COLIN BROOKS MP
Minister for Creative Industries

One of Port Fairy’s many charms is its vibrant arts scene.

For more than 30 years, the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival has celebrated music, creativity and community – bringing together locals and attracting visitors who return year after year.

This year’s program offers something for all music lovers. Across 3 days, the Festival will showcase the talents of more than 50 musicians and artists and celebrate genres from classical music to jazz and music theatre.

The Allan Labor Government is a proud and longstanding supporter of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival. It’s a gem of our cultural calendar and an example of how creative events benefit towns and regions – boosting tourism and the local economy, providing a stage for local and visiting artists, and bringing the community together through memorable and inspiring experiences.

Congratulations to the Festival organisers, incredible volunteers and artists on this year’s exciting program. Enjoy exploring the Festival and the Port Fairy Cosmos!