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Aristea Mellos : Associate Artist

My musical language is heavily influenced by my early training and love for opera, choral composition, and classical piano. I believe in the power and poise of a musical phrase to evoke a complete set of emotions, and to create the illusion of beauty.

Random Audio Sample: Athena : soprano with ensemble by Aristea Mellos, from the CD Songs for a Day

Aristea Mellos is an Australian composer of contemporary classical music. Born on the island of Crete, she received her formative musical training in Sydney, where she was an avid chorister and also studied classical piano.

A winner of the 2014 Gallipoli Song Competition, Aristea is a recipient of grants from the Presser Foundation (2015), the Earle Brown Foundation (2016), the Australia Council of the Arts (2014), the American Australian Association (2013, 2014) and the Eastman School of Music (Professional Development Award 2014). Aristea's music has been published by the Capilano Review, and Soundboard Magazine, and has been recorded and broadcast by ABC Classics, NPR, WAYO 104.3FM, WXXI, Fine Music, Tall Poppies and Xenofone.

As a composer who focuses on art songs and intimate chamber music, Mellos has worked closely with many notable soloists including Jane Sheldon, Helen Zhibing Huang, Anna Dowsley, Michael Lampard, Corey Hamm, Elinor Frey, Daniel Pesca, Ada Arumeh Kim Lowery, Josinaldo Costa, Sophie Burgos, Madeline Cain, Zach Sheets, Phil Pierick and Emlyn Johnson.

A fellow of Art Song Lab (VISI 2013), the AYO's Composer School (2010), and the Bowdoin International Music Festival (2009), Aristea holds a Doctorate (DMA) and Master's (MM) in Composition and Piano from the Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester 2017, 2012). In 2010, she graduated with Honours Class I from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (University of Sydney). She also holds an AMusA in piano performance.

Prizes and scholarships include: the Howard Hanson Ensemble Prize (2015), the Bernard Rogers Memorial Prize (2014), the T. A. Prize for Teaching Excellence (2014), the Belle S. Gitelman Prize (2016 & 2011), the Paul Sacher Scholarship (2010-2012), the Doris Burnett Ford Scholarship (2006-2010), and the Roy Agnew Memorial Fund (2006). Aristea's primary teachers have included Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, David Liptak, Robert Morris, Lisa Bielawa, Nigel Butterley and Trevor Pearce.

Aristea has a long association with Ossia New Music (having sat on the board in 2011-12 & 2014-15), and is the co-founder of the Ritsos Project, a festival that fosters cross-cultural exchange between the United States and Greece. Aristea currently co-directs the Sydney Bach Society, a chamber music series at Christ Church St Laurence, Sydney.

Aristea Mellos — current to January 2020

Studied with

Gerard Willems (2008 - 2009)

Nigel Butterley (2009)


Collaborated with

Bernadette Harvey (2014 - 2017)


Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2023 Albert H Maggs Composition Award First Prize Preludes, Book I

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Immigrant Suite : for piano four hands (2022) Commissioned by Create NSW for the Sydney Bach Society's Caccini Circle Commissioning Project.
Digital sheet music sample Preludes: Book One (solo piano) (2022) Composed for the Australian pianist Stephanie McCallum
Prelude II : Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination (2021) part of the Prelude Project for Australian pianist Stephanie McCallum
Digital sheet music sample Prelude II : Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination (2021) Composed for the Australian pianist, Stephanie McCallum for the ABC Classic album "Aristea Mellos: Preludes & Duets" (2022)
Prelude III : In the sun born over and over, I ran my heedless ways (2021) Composed for the Australian pianist Stephanie McCallum for the Prelude Project.
Prelude IV : "I can't breathe" Part One (2021) Composed for Australian pianist Stephanie McCallum