Mildura Summer Music FestivalMildura Wentworth Arts FestivalMildura Writers FestivalMildura Palimpsest BiennaleGALLERY


Stefan Cassomenos

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 premiered his own first piano concerto Aegean Odyssey with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at the age of 16. He has since performed concertos with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven Orchestra Bonn and Orchestra Victoria. As Second Prize Winner at the 2013 International Telekom Beethoven Competition, he is in demand as a recitalist throughout Europe, Asia and Australia, including engagements at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Bonn Beethoven Festival and Zurich Tonhalle. Stefan is active as an artistic director of various festivals, projects and collaborations. He is a founding member of contemporary chamber ensemble PLEXUS, which has commissioned over 60 composers and premieres 20 new works in 2014. Stefan’s own compositions are regularly performed and broadcast around Australia. Stefan is generously supported by Kawai Australia and the Youth Music Foundation of Australia.

Sergio Ercole 

Latin/classical guitarist Sergio Ercole was born in Florence and moved to Melbourne in 1980.
Sergio completed a Masters of Music at Melbourne University – studying under John Griffiths and taking masterclasses with world-renowned guitarist John Williams before taking further study in Italy with Oscar Ghiglia and Alirio Diaz.
Sergio’s talents are well respected within the music industry with performers including The Cat Empire, and Hollywood film writer and musician, Tim Davies, regularly inviting Sergio to collaborate with them on their albums and on stage. Sergio was also asked to compose and perform the title track for Frank Lotito’s romantic comedy ‘Big Mamma’s Boy’.
Sergio is Head of Guitar at Haileybury College and regularly collaborates with artists such as the Grigoryan Brothers and Italian guitarist Massimo Scattolin.

Roberto Fabbriciani

Original interpreter and versatile artist, Roberto Fabbriciani has innovated flute technique, multiplying through personal research the instrument's sonorous possibilities. He has collaborated with some of the major composers of our time, many of whom have dedicated numerous and important works that he performed at their premiers. Fabbriciani has played as soloist with an array of world renowned conductors, and with orchestras including Orchestra della Scala di Milano, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestre della Rai and London Sinfonietta.
He performed concerts at prestigious theaters and musical institutions including the Scala in Milan, Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Festival Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York and has frequently participated in festivals such as the Venice Biennale and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
Roberto has recorded several albums and has been professor of master classes at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg. 

Khalil Gudaz

Ustad Khalil Gudaz's love affair with music started at 13, when he began learning the rubab and tanboor (traditional Afghani instruments).
His desire to train under the best musicians took him to India, where he became the student of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, one of India's most talented classical musicians.
During this time, Khalil mastered the intricacies of Indian classical music and went on to become an accomplished musician in his own right, winning numerous awards.
Master Khalil Gudaz's music includes Indian Classical Raga and melodies from Afghanistan. The fragrance of Sufi traditional music and singing of Sufi poems of Hazarat Rumi, Hafiz, Amir Khusru and more also spreads through his music.
Khalil Gudaz now lives in Melbourne and teaches his unique style of sitar music and other musical instruments to interested people in Australia and beyond.

Anthony Halliday

Anthony Halliday gives piano and organ recitals and concerto performances annually in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, England, Ireland and throughout Australasia and has been critically acclaimed by several internationally renowned conductors.
In 2013 he became the first artist outside Europe or America invited to give the opening recital in  the International Bach Festival in Leipzig, Germany and was commissioned by the ancient German City of Kleve to compose an extensive piano work Symphony for Kleve which he premiered. During his 2014 European tour the German press again described his interpretations of Beethoven as exceptional and supported by a huge knowledge.
His recent CD’s feature works by Händel, Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, Saint-Saëns, Shafton and his own compositions. He has recorded all 32 piano sonatas by Beethoven and performed from memory Bach’s complete Well Tempered Clavier.

Rosemary Hodgson 

Described as the lute world's “new star” by the UK Lute Society Journal, Rosemary Hodgson is well known to her Melbourne hometown audience and maintains a vibrant career as one of Australia's leading lutenists. Specialising in the performance of historic guitars and lutes, she is regularly engaged in major festivals, recordings and concert series throughout Australia and abroad.
A Graduate of Melbourne University, Rosemary completed her post graduate studies at the Royal College of Music London and now performs regularly with Rosa Mundi and La Compania.  
In 2004, Rosemary released Rosa her first solo recording on her own label. Her latest release, Sorrow Stay (ABC Classics) - an album of Dowland lute songs - followed to international acclaim.
Rosemary has enjoyed performances with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Opera Australia, Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, E21, Consort Eclectus and The Consort of Melbourne among others.
In the opening year of the MRC, Musica Viva presented Rosemary as the first lutenist to play a solo recital in the glorious new Elizabeth Murdoch Hall and she features in the Melbourne Recital Centre Series 2015 with La Compania for their sixth season.

Massimo Scattolin

After a number of meetings with Andres Segovia, Massimo Scattolin began his concert career as a soloist, since developing his chamber music and orchestral activities to include some of the best-known concertos for guitar and orchestra. Composers such as Astor Piazzolla and Violet Archer have written concertos for him.
Massimo thus rose to the attention of European, Asian, American and now Australian audiences and has been described by critics as being one of the best guitarists of our times. He has worked with the main European television networks, as well as with great theatre actors such as Cucciolla, Pagliai and Gassman. He regularly takes part in international festivals and is the first Italian guitarist to have held master classes at the “Mozarteum” in Salzburg.

Allan Zavod

Dr Allan Zavod is an internationally recognised jazz pianist voted in the "Top Ten US Jazz Pianists" of the 80's, having toured and recorded with celebrated international bands such as the Glen Miller Orchestra, Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson and Jean- Luc Ponty.  This culminated in a world tour with Frank Zappa which earned him 31st place in the “Top 150 Greatest Keyboard Players of Rock” placing him in the distinguished company of Sir Elton John, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, and many others. Today U.S. internet catalogues include him in the “Top 100 Best Keyboardists of all time”.
Due to his remarkable success combining classical and jazz genres, Allan initiated two annual awards for Australian tertiary students, "The Zavod Classical/Jazz Fusion Composers Award", administered  by Melbourne University, and the “Zavod Classical-Jazz Fusion Performers Award” whose patron and benefactor was the late Dame Elisabeth Murdock and administered through Monash University. As an educator he has also lectured at Universities throughout Australia and devised and taught an elective at Melbourne University on the subject of Classical-Jazz Fusion.
Allan is presently orchestrating and performing for the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra in Hanoi.


Blair Harris - Cello

Blair completed his Bachelor of Music with professor Markus Stocker at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. Blair won every performance prize offered by the university and was inducted into the Golden Key Club for excellence, graduating amongst the top 5% of his cohort at Griffith University.
Deciding to further his studies, Blair took up a position at the Australian National Academy of Music where he was offered a full scholarship. His extensive studies with Alexander Baillie, Janis Laurs, Steven Isserlis and David Strange broadened his mind to the endless possibilities of interpretation and technique. Blair has attended the Mozarteum Akademie Salzburg, studying under Tsyoshi Tsutsumi, and the International Music Seminars Prussia Cove.
Since embarking on a professional career Blair has had numerous soloist engagements with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, the Barrier Reef Orchestra and the Preston Symphony. His solo and chamber music repertoires have been recorded extensively for ABC Classic FM and 3MBS-FM Melbourne. In 2010 Blair was awarded 1st prize at the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition, and the John Hopkins Performance Fellowship.
In 2012 he joined the Australian String Quartet in an acclaimed performance of Mendelssohn’s Octet, and subsequently was invited to join ASQ again as a quartet member to tour for their opening season in 2013.
As an avid devotee of new music, Blair is a member of the contemporary chamber music group Syzygy Ensemble, currently in residence at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

Francesca Hiew - Violin

Francesca Hiew began her violin studies aged 4 with Mark Lakirovich at the Stoliarsky School of Music in Brisbane. At the age of 9, she began learning from Emin Tagiev and was the youngest member on her first music tour to the USA as a soloist with the senior students of the Stoliarsky School, performing notably for the late Dorothy DeLay of the Juilliard School in New York. Francesca completed a Bachelor of Music in the Advanced Performance Strand at the Queensland Conservatorium in 2008 under the tutelage of Michele Walsh. During her time at the Conservatorium, she won the Matilda Jane Aplin Scholarship, the Paganini Prize and the Gertrude Langer Ensemble Prize in 2008 and 2009 which included tours of regional Queensland with the support of the Queensland Arts Council. Francesca then commenced studies with William Hennessy at the Australian National Academy of Music in 2010 in the Advanced Performance Program and was accepted into the Fellowship program for 2012. A keen chamber musician, Francesca was in the winning group in the ANAM Chamber Music Competition in 2010 and 2011 and performed in the Asia-Pacific Chamber Music Competition in 2013 with the Auric Quartet. She is a full-time member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and a core member of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. 
Cameron Hill - Violin

Cameron appears regularly as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. He studied with Cathryn Bills, William Hennessy and Alice Waten, with whom he is currently undertaking a Master of Music at the University of Sydney.
He has appeared as a soloist with the Melbourne, Tasmanian, Queensland and Canberra Symphony Orchestras, and has appeared as Guest Concertmaster of both the Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras. Cameron has also had success in major competitions, winning both the 2005 Dorcas McClean National Violin Competition and the 2006 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year Grand Final. 
He performs with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and recently returned from Japan, where he performed chamber music with Richard Tognetti. In 2012, Cameron appeared as Guest Leader of the Flinders Quartet and as Principal Viola of the ACO2.
Leah Zweck - Viola

Leah has performed with some of the best orchestras and ensembles in Australia and overseas and has a wealth of experience in the classical music scene, the musical theatre scene and the pop industry. Leah's career has seen her perform regularly with ensembles which include the Sydney, Queensland, Adelaide and Munich Symphony Orchestras, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Colorado Festival Orchestra and the Wiener Konzert Verien and as soloist with the Australian Ballet’s “Bodytorque” series.
An active chamber musician, Leah was a founding member of the Elandra String Quartet which performed at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, toured outback Australia and featured in concerts in Canada and the United States. In 2011 she founded the Ensemble Urbane chamber music series in Melbourne.
She also has a great deal of experience in musical theatre and a wealth of varied non-classical collaborations and has performed at private functions for the Duchess of Kent and the crown Prince and Princess of Denmark.

Michele Benuzzi studied the harpsichord with Ottavio Dantone and obtained the harpsichord Performing Diploma at the Royal College of Music in London. He also studied musicology at the University of Pavia.
In 2003 he won the third prize at the seventeenth Yamanashi International Harpsichord Competition in Japan.
He performs in the mayor Festival in Europe, Australia and Asia. He promoted, and played the opera omnia of Domenico Scarlatti's Sonatas, which were performed from 1995 to 2002 in France.
Michele has founded Arcomelo, a group performing seventeenth and eighteenth-century music, and examining baroque music - especially problems concerning execution on ancient instruments.
As soloist he has recorded Scarlatti's Sonatas using the 1764 Hass instrument in the Russell Collection in Edinburgh. For “London Independent Records” a CD "Hamburg 1705" with music by Händel, Graupner and Mattheson recorded using the harpsichord made by Daniel Dulcken around 1730 in the Barnes Collection.
Michele is now under contract with the label Brilliant Classics and he has recorded J.W.Hässler with a harpsichord by Robert Falkener London 1773 by kind permission of the Russell Collection.
His next project with Brilliant Classics will start in 2015 and will be the complete J.W.Hassler keyboard music in 10 CDs.
Michele is appreciated for the expressiveness of his performance and for the beautiful quality of his tone production.
Gianfranco Bortolato - Oboe & Claudia Lopez - Violin

Born in Venice Italy, Gianfranco Bortolato received his first oboe lessons from Bruno Baldan  when he was eleven years old gaining a Diploma with honours from “B.Marcello Conservatoire" in Venice.
He studied with Pietro Borgonovo at the “Scuola di Musica di Fiesole" (Florence) and then at Musk-Akademie der Stadt Basel where he was awarded the Konzerdiplom.  In addition, renowned teachers like Maurice Bourgue and Hans Elhorst have contributed to his artistic development.
In May 1995 he became a prize-winner in the "Concorso nazionale Vittorio Pitzianti” for oboe and in 2001 he was invited as a member of the jury to the International Competition Gillet/Fox in the USA. His performance of the A.Dorati’s Trittico in the USA has been the subject of a thesis at the Indiana University.
As a soloist Gianfranco has played extensively thoughout the Americas, Australia, Uzbekistan, Croatia, Cuba and across Africa.  He has been the principal oboe of the Young Italian Philharmony Orchestra, played at the the Orchestra Sinfonica of Sanremo and first oboe with I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano.
He is currently Solo-Oboe of the Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera in Rome.

Born in Guatemala, Claudia Lopez began her musical studies at a young age with her grandfather Manuel Gomez, first oboe at the Symphony Orchestra of Guatemala. She then carried on at the National Conservatory of Music in Guatemala. Afterwards, she studied
in Belgium and at the Antwerp Conservatory.
Claudia has participated in various festivals in Puerto Rico and Colombia and in 1991 she joined the Balearic Symphony Orchestra (Palma de Mallorca, Spain) violin section, until she transferred to Rome in 2005 where she now lives. During this time she has collaborated with numerous European orchestras.
In 2010 she received her masters degree in art issued by USAC (University San Carlos) of Guatemala. Claudia currently performs freelance with various groups in Rome.


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