Melbourne pianist and composer Stefan Cassomenos is one of Australia’s most vibrant and versatile musicians. He is a founding members of Plexus
Melbourne pianist and composer Stefan Cassomenos is one of Australia’s most vibrant and versatile musicians. Stefan has performed internationally since the age of 10, and performed the premiere of his own composition Piano Concerto No 1: Aegean Odyssey with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at the age of 16.
More recently, he has performed concertos with the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, and Orchestra Victoria. He has worked with many conductors including Olari Elts, Christopher Seaman, Brian Schembri, Fabian Russell, Nicholas Braithwaite, Warwick Stengards, and Arvo Volmer.
Stefan now gives regular solo recitals and concerto performances throughout Australia, Europe, and Asia, having appeared as a soloist in St Petersburg, Tallinn, Warsaw, Krakow, Bonn, Athens, Rome, Milan, Amsterdam, London, Bangkok, and Tokyo. Recent engagements have included solo recitals in Zurich (Tonhalle), Leipzig (Gewandhaus), Bonn (Beethoven Festival), Weimar, Ludwigshafen, Kirchheimbolanden, Shanghai (Oriental Arts Centre), Hangzhou, Malta, London, and throughout the UK.
In 2013, he was a grand finalist and recipient of the Second Grand Prize in the prestigious International Telekom Beethoven Piano Competition Bonn, in Germany. He was also the recipient of the Chamber Music Prize. In 2012, he was a grand finalist in the Rhodes International Piano Competition. He has also been a grand finalist and prize-winner in the 2013 Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition, the 2013 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer Awards, the 2009 Melbourne Asia-Pacific Chamber Music Competition, and the 2009 Trieste International Chamber Music Competition.
Stefan Cassomenos began writing music at age seven, and as a teenager had his music performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. His Piano Concerto No.3 was premiered in 2010 at the Melbourne Recital Centre, and his critically acclaimed Double Violin Concerto (2012) has been performed around Australia by three different ensembles, with violin soloists Monica Curro and Sarah Curro. Hieratikon (2012) was commissioned and performed by the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir on their 2012 ‘Icons’ Victoria Tour.
Awards and accolades for composition include Composer-in-Residence for three years running at the Creative Innovation Conference 2010–12, the 2012 Lyrebird Music Society commission, the 2012 Young Achievement Award from the Hellenic Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and various awards through the Yamaha Music Foundation.
His Requiem for the End of Time was recently premiered by PLEXUS with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir, at Deakin Edge, Federation Square. He was recently invited as the first Australian composer to be commissioned as part of “250 Piano Pieces for Beethoven”, an international composition project initiated by German pianist Susanne Kessel marking Beethoven’s 250th anniversary in 2020, culminating in a world premiere season in Bonn, and publishing through Editions Musica Ferrum.
Stefan is active as an artistic director of various festivals, projects and collaborations. He is a founding member of acclaimed ensemble PLEXUS with violinist Monica Curro and clarinetist Philip Arkinstall. PLEXUS has commissioned over 100 composers, and premiered over 50 new works in two years since launching in 2014. The ensemble continues its work in 2016, with a three-concert series at the Melbourne Recital Centre, as well as performances at festivals and venues around Australia.
Born in 1985 in Melbourne, Stefan began his studies with Margarita Krupina, before completing his tertiary studies on scholarship at the University of Melbourne majoring in piano performance under the mentorship of Stephen McIntyre. He has also studied with Ian Munro and Michael Kieran Harvey.
Stefan is generously supported by Kawai Australia and the Youth Music Foundation of Australia.