PLEXUS: Psalmodic



PLEXUS heralds its newly minted choral ensemble, Vox Plexus, as guest artists for a world premiere arrangement of Stravinsky’s epic neoclassical masterpiece Symphony of Psalms, a Russian émigré’s response to the atheism of his motherland.

Of the same decade, but from the opposite pole of the Soviet aesthetic sphere are drawn selections from Shostakovich’s lush Suites for Jazz Orchestra, in a world premiere reimagining for PLEXUS. Shostakovich’s onetime pupil Galina Ustvolskaya was later acknowledged by him as a profound influence on his own music, and Ustvolsakaya’s 1949 Trio for violin, clarinet and piano plumbs the depths of the human condition with characteristic prophetic insight. Alongside these Russian treasures are presented two newly commissioned world premieres, by equally compelling Australian composers Leanne Bear and Scott McIntyre.

Melbourne ensemble PLEXUS brings together the talents of three of Australia’s most vibrant and versatile musicians, violinist Monica Curro, clarinetist Philip Arkinstall and pianist Stefan Cassomenos, with the goal of commissioning and celebrating Australian and international composers. The ensemble is devoted to engaging an ever growing network of exceptional artists, celebrating their contribution to Australia’s rich and diverse cultural landscape. Since launching in 2014, PLEXUS has commissioned and premiered over 100 new works. PLEXUS is exclusively supported by private donations, and all funds raised are dedicated to the commissioning and presentation of new music and collaborations.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre & PLEXUS


Leanne Bear
New work (world premiere)

Scott McIntyre
New work (world premiere)

Dmitri Shostakovich (arr. Stefan Cassomenos)
from the Jazz Suites (1935-38)

Igor Stravinsky (arr. Stefan Cassomenos)
Symphony of Psalms (1930)

Galina Ustvolskaya
Trio (1949)


Monica Curro, violin
Philip Arkinstall, clarinet
Stefan Cassomenos, piano

with guest artists
Vox Plexus