Born in Buenos Aires, Mónica Pustilnik learned the guitar and piano at the Lopez Buchardo Conservatory, and received a nationally recognised diploma as a guitar teacher in 1991. In 2010, she gained an MA under Hopkinson Smith at the Schola Cantorum, Basel. Mónica specialises in the Baroque and Renaissance repertoire for lute. She studied general bass (lute and harpsichord) under Jesper Christensen and Rolf Lislevand at the University of Music in Trossingen. She studied choral conducting under Michel Corboz at the Geneva Conservatory, and orchestral conducting under Jordi Mora (Barcelona) and Rubén Dubrovsky (Vienna) and Facundo Agudin (Argentina-Switzerland).
She works extensively as a soloist, chamber musician and basso continuo player in operas and oratorios. She has performed regularly with Le Concert d'Astrée (Emmanuelle Haïm), La Cappella Mediterranea (Leonardo García Alarcón), Les Musiciens du Louvre (Marc Minkowski), Les Talens Lyriques (Christophe Rousset), Concerto Vocale (René Jacobs), Ensemble Elyma (Gabriel Garrido), Les Arts Florissants (William Christie), Il Seminario Musicale (Gérard Lesne), Concerto Soave (Jean-Marc Aymes), and other ensembles,
and has made numerous recordings of her productions.
Mónica has been invited to perform with the Hessischer Rundfunk Orchester (Frankfurt), the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,
the Berliner Philharmoniker, and the Wiener Philarmoniker.
She has been the second conductor for the following productions: Eliogabalo by Cavalli at the Opera Garnier in Paris, Elena by Cavalli at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Orfeo by Monteverdi at the Opéra de Lille, Hipermestra by Cavalli at the Utrecht Early Music Festival, L'Incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi at the Geneva University of Music, and King Arthur by Purcell at the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
She performs in concerts at the Wiener Konzerthaus, at various festivals, such as Poznan (Poland), Ravello (Italy) and Friends of Early Music, Basel, and develops numerous chamber music programmes at the Opéra de Lille.In 2014, she conducted Cavalli’s opera Elena at the Opéra de Nantes and Angers, and in 2018 she conducted Purcell’s King Arthur at the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
Since 2001, her teaching activities have included teaching the lute, basso continuo and chamber music at the ESMUC in Barcelona, and the A. Scontrino Conservatory in Trapani. Since 2015, she has been teaching at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, and since 2017 she has been a professor of lute at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Geneva. In 2019, she gave the seminar and symposium ‘La Fantaisie’ in Geneva with Jean-Yves Haymoz and Bor Zuljan on the subject of improvisation during the Renaissance.
She has recorded many CDs for Harmonia Mundi, Naïve, Virgin, Arcana, Glossa and K617, among others. Mónica's solo recording of works by Alessandro Piccinini (for the Accent label, 2014) was praised by critics. A forthcoming solo recording is in the process of preparation, and is devoted to Italian music of the Cinquecento.