Australian violinist, violist and conductor John Curro has passed away – aged 86.

Mr Curro will be remembered for his immense commitment to the development of outstanding young string players in Australia – having founded the Queensland Youth Orchestra, in Brisbane, Australia in 1966 and the Australian National Youth Concerto Competition, in 1976.

Widely regarded as the most significant development prize for Australian string soloists 17 years and younger, previous National Youth Concert Competition 1st prize winners include Tchaikovsky Competition prize winner, violinist Jane Peters; Australian Chamber Orchestra Artistic Director and Leader, Richard Tognetti; Stuttgart Radio Symphony 1st Concertmaster, Natalie Chee; international cello soloists Li Wei Qin and Clancy Newman; Menuhin and Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competitions 1st Prize Winner, VC Artist Ray Chen – and Michael Hill International Violin Competition 1st Prize Winner, VC Artist Suyeon Kang.

“There are certain people in one’s life who have a deeply profound and lasting impact … it is almost unfathomable to envision a life without them … John Curro is most certainly one of those people to me …” Melbourne Symphony Concertmaster and Australian String Quartet Violinist, Dale Bartrop has today said.

“He was without a doubt among my greatest musical mentors … the countless hours I spent as a youngster in the Queensland Youth Orchestra, making music under his guidance, would instill in me a lifelong love of music …” he he said.

“I join the thousands of others in thanking you John for everything you have done for music in this country … what a light you have shone for all of us.”

Our condolences are with Mr Curro’s family, friends, colleagues and students.

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