The Australian World Orchestra (AWO) is one of the most exciting orchestral initiatives in Australia’s cultural history. The vision is simple: to bring together Australia’s successful classical musicians from around the world, to form one of the country’s most electrifying orchestras.

The AWO features Australians returning home from playing in leading world orchestras such as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, to name but a few. Australia’s international players come together with their colleagues from our own wonderful state orchestras, and the result is over 100 musicians, representing over 50 orchestras, all at the top of their profession under one roof, forming one of the country’s most exciting orchestras. The inaugural AWO concert series was held in Sydney in August 2011.

As part of the AWO mission, returning musicians are keen to offer their skills in a series of masterclasses across NSW and Victoria. In May 2013, Australian World Orchestra violinist Monica Naselow visited Ascham School in Sydney. Monica is a former violinist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and currently plays with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. This is how she got on with three of the school's most promising young players.

For young players interested in Monica's career path here are some pointers. Born in Penrith, NSW, Monica began Suzuki violin lessons at age 4 with Patricia Moran and later Yasuki Nakamura. Monica received her Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with teacher Goetz Richter, then was awarded a Queen’s Trust of Australia Scholarship to pursue orchestral training overseas, and was accepted into Postgraduate study at the Zurich Opera House Orchestral Academy in Switzerland.

Monica was concertmaster of the Australian Youth Orchestra in 2000. In 2002, she moved to the Netherlands to take up a position with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) in Amsterdam where she played for ten years as a permanent member of the 2nd violin group performing under the baton of Mariss Jansons, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Riccardo Chailly, Daniel Harding and many more. Tours with the RCO took Monica throughout Europe, USA and Asia, performing at some of the world’s biggest festivals such as the BBC Proms and in Carnegie Hall. Returning to Australia in September 2012, Monica joined the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Monica currently lives in Hobart with her husband Aaron and their two sons, Xander and Flynn.