Melbourne pianist, conductor and composer Stefan Cassomenos completed his tertiary studies on full scholarship at the University of Melbourne, majoring in piano performance. His main piano teachers were Margarita Krupina and Stephen McIntyre. He has performed internationally since the age of 10, and performed the premiere of his own first piano concerto Aegean Odyssey with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at the age of 16. Stefan now gives regular solo recitals and concerto performances throughout Australia, and also gives concerts overseas, having appeared as a soloist in St Petersburg, Tallinn, Warsaw, Krakow, Athens, Rome, Milan, Amsterdam, London, Bangkok, and Tokyo. His 2007 London debut was described in a Musical Opinion review by John Amis as ‘alive, passionate, and dramatic… as if the pianist’s life depended on it. This was a prodigious London debut by a formidable talent.’ In 2009, he was a grand finalist and prize-winner at both the Trieste International Chamber Music Competition and the Melbourne Asia-Pacific Chamber Music Competition. In 2012 he was a grand finalist in the Rhodes International Piano Competition.
Stefan has been writing music since the age of seven. As a child he performed his piano compositions overseas on several occasions, representing Australia in Yamaha Junior Original Concerts including a UNICEF Benefit Concert in 1997 in Tokyo. His compositions were performed by the Symphony Orchestras of Melbourne and Adelaide when he was still a high-school student. He has written music for The Yarra Trio, the Melbourne International Brass Festival, the Australian Music Association, Orchestra 21, Patma Music, and the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir. In 2010, Stefan was Composer-in-Residence for Creative Universe’s CI-2010 Conference, culminating in the premiere of his Piano Concerto No 3, The Art of Thought, at the Melbourne Recital Centre. In 2012 he was awarded the annual Lyrebird Music Society Commission to write a new work for the Curro String Quartet.
Stefan is also active as an Artistic Director and Conductor. He was the Artistic Director of the 2007 Melba Festival in the Yarra Valley, Guest Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Piano Landmarks festival 2009-10, Conductor of the Percy Grainger Youth Orchestra 2010-11, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Chamber Strings of Melbourne for 2011, and founding director of Creativity Australia’s ‘Our Community Sings’ Choir for 2011. In 2011, Stefan completed a number modules of the Symphony Australia Conductor Development Program, working with Sebastian Lang Lessing and Christopher Seaman, and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
Stefan is generously supported by Kawai Australia, Creativity Australia, and the Youth Music Foundation of Australia.