Jo St Leon

Author and Journalist


I’m a former musician who has turned her love of music into a passion for the music of words. Although I live alone I love to talk , so most days I maintain a running dialogue with my two cats.

Every day my writing life brings me new joys and learnings. As a music journalist I constantly discover more about music. Writing for Elephant Journal I develop my opinions. Writing a book about living with cancer took me on a journey into my innermost self and profoundly changed my way of being-in-the-world.

I invite you to browse my portfolio below to discover if my storytelling is a good fit for you.

My superpower is listening, and turning stories into words that sing.

CutCommon | the new generation of classical music
LIVE REVIEW // Jo watches Grace Thorpe and Jennifer Marten-Smith in Tassie

BY JO ST LEON Virtuosi Tasmania Grace Thorpe (violin), Jennifer Marten-Smith (piano) Szymanowski, Bach, Kreisler Home Hill Winery, Ranelagh, 28 January The opportunity to review this concert brought me enormous pleasure and some anxiety. Pleasure, because I used to teach Grace Thorpe and was happily intrigued to see how she had developed.

Most recent

Elephant Journal
How I choose to Live with "Lulu"-my Lymphoma.

Lymphoma Australia was at the forefront of the action-informing, challenging and, most importantly, encouraging me to think and reflect about what lymphoma means to me. First, the informing. The statistics are mind-blowing. 19 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year. 19 million! 150,000 of those are in Australia.

Elephant Journal
Djokovic Deported: A Sad & Sorry Saga.

"If Djokovic had a sliver of good sense and any respect for his sport, he would accept the consequences and leave the country. Unfortunately, the tennis star is among the famous athletes who'd rather create chaos around them than get their shots." - Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) January 15, 2022 Nevertheless, I'm going to write about him.


CutCommon | the new generation of classical music
Pandemic diary #5: If I really wanted to... | CutCommon

"We read to know we are not alone" - C.S. Lewis Last week, I had various plans for how to use my solitude constructively. I have made a start, but find that I don't like being told what to do, even by myself.

CutCommon | the new generation of classical music
Pandemic diary #3: Journey into solitude | CutCommon

"In a pandemic, self-isolation is called quarantine. In Buddhism, it is called retreat. From the cave of our homes, like the meditators of ancient times, we can consciously kindle the lamp of compassion and connection" - Lama Willa Miller What a difference a label can make.

CutCommon | the new generation of classical music
Pandemic diary #1: After the music stopped | CutCommon

"And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested...and learned new ways of being" - Kitty O'Meara Saturday March 14 - my last concert for the foreseeable future. The ban on large gatherings was just coming into force, so there was no audience, but it was a great concert nonetheless.

Creative Non-Fiction

The Fictional Café
Old Age: Three Vignettes by Jo St Leon - The Fictional Café

I can't find the word. Somewhere, in the swirling mist of my mind, I know it's there. Just out of reach. I chase it but it skips away from me as it laughs. It doesn't want to be caught today. I used to use it, the word, with such ease.


CutCommon | the new generation of classical music
LIVE REVIEW // Jo tunes in to the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall | CutCommon

BY JO ST LEON The Trout Michael Aquilina Chamber Music Festival - Concert 1 Laurence Matheson (piano); Dale Barltrop (violin); Christopher Cartlidge (viola); Rachael Tobin (cello); Stephen Newton (double bass)Melbourne Digital Concert Hall, Athenaeum Theatre, 30 May This concert was the opening event in the Michael Aquilina Chamber Music Festival, and it was a fitting tribute to Aquilina's outstanding philanthropy.