2019 Friends Of Music Series

Sunday 20 January, 7:30pm

Love Child, Album pre-launch

Aksuna, featuring Kaesis


This beautiful concert will feature a combination of Aksuna's own works and other selected piano works that have inspired and influenced her writing.



Born in Taiwan, Aksuna grew up in Japan and Sydney, both places where she began and learnt the piano, in which during her teenage years she competed and won various state and national competitions. She finally moved to Melbourne in her early adult years - formally to be trained as a dentist. Needless to say, this did not appeal to her, and after working as a DJ for a few months, she returned to continue her training as a concert pianist. Fast-forward a few years; now as a graduate of two Masters degrees - one in performance and another in music therapy - Aksuna is now exploring the trajectory of wellbeing and creativity through performing her highly technical, imaginative piano works. These works are distillations of years of interesting experiences, travels, dreams, people, stories...Working with the limitation and strengths of the instrument and the human body, Aksuna aims to present all of these voices and images as vignettes of the human spirit.

To know more about her, check out www.aksunapiano.com


Kaesis (Paul Banks) is new to the poetry scene but ever so old to the practice of words spilling, words dancing and skidding across pages. Speaking from the heart, raw and without pretension, Kaesis explores big questions, subtlety and nuance, endlessly fascinated with the mystery of the human condition and all that exists beyond what we can see and touch. Reimagining a society where justice is more that just a word, he explores themes of harmony, chaos and the search for meaning in a fractured world. Wild dreamer, truth seeker, skeptical- believer. Kaesis is in love with the hope and darkness in a story that's ever unfolding

Sunday 31 March, 5pm

Trio Chronometro
Jose Luis Junior Tochon Quintero, violin

Lauren Jennings, cello 

Raymond Shon, piano




Sunday 28 April, 2pm

Aaron Klein, clarinet





Sunday 12 May, 2pm

Josh Hooke, piano





Sunday 7 July, 2pm

Yasmin Rowe, piano






As an international concert pianist, Yasmin Rowe has won numerous prizes. She was first prize winner at the Moray International Piano Competition (UK) and the EPTA UK Piano Competition (UK), as well Seven Oaks Young Musician of the Year Competition (UK) and the Antena 2 Competition (Portugal).


Her first CD was released in 2016 with Willowhayne Records, and was quickly picked up by British Airways for their in-flight entertainment system. It was praised by eminent pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet who said:


"After listening to this CD of Yasmin Rowe, it is refreshing to hear music played with conviction, love and authenticity. We can therefore enjoy the pure beauty of these masterpieces under her inspired fingers. Her playing calls for respect.”


Her second CD, “Y2” was released in 2017 with her cellist Yelian He – it too was quickly picked up again by British Airways.


Yasmin is active as a chamber musician in Melbourne, and is a member of ‘Collide’, an exciting new Saxophone trio with Joseph Lallo and Yelian He, and ‘Rock Paper Scissors’- a piano trio with Wilma Smith- renowned violinist.


She frequently performs with cellist Yelian He; they formed the successful piano/cello duo “Y-Squared”and together they won competitions such as the Royal Over-Seas League String Competition and the Australian Cello Awards (now amalgamated with the Young Performer’s Awards).


Yasmin toured the UK in April 2018 including Hampton Court Palace in London.

Sunday 1 September, 2pm


Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club





Sunday 6 October, 5pm

Yiyun Gu, piano






Chinese-born Australian pianist Yiyun Gu appears on stage frequently as a soloist and chamber musician. Yiyun completed her Master of Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music with Stephen McIntyre AM in 2013. She traveled to UK and Italy to participate in music festivals and study master classes with many world-renowned musicians. She was the recipient of the Finalist Awards in 2012 and 2014 Australian National Piano Award.


Yiyun started her piano training at the age of 3, and made her first appearance of playing concerto with orchestra at the age of 12. She won prizes at several youth piano competitions when she was in Shanghai. After completing two degrees in economics and commerce, Yiyun decided to devote herself to music performance and teaching, with the passion for sharing her love of music with more people.


Yiyun enjoys playing a diversity of repertoire from Baroque to Contemporary period. She loves to explore works with interesting connections in aspects such as styles, cultural backgrounds, or sources of inspiration, and communicate her musical thoughts with the audiences. Recently, she performed solo recitals in Melbourne Recital Centre and Port Fairy Spring Music Festival.