Born in Vienna to Australian parents, Melissa holds degrees with Distinction from the Sydney Conservatorium, The New England Conservatory, Boston and Mannes College, New York where she studied with renowned teachers and performers such as Yo-Yo Ma, Ralph Kirshbaum, Colin Carr, Timothy Eddy and Laurence Lesser. She also studied chamber music with such luminaries as the Guarneri Quartet, the Juilliard Quartet, Louis Krasner, Eugene Lehner and members of the Beaux Arts Trio.
During her years in the United States Melissa was most active as a chamber musician. She has performed at major US and British Festivals, including the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival, the Tanglewood Festival, Norfolk/Yale Chamber Music Festival, Prussia Cove International Seminars and the Manchester International Cello Weekend. As a member of the Ives Piano Trio she recorded for National Public Radio and WGBH-Boston and performed in recital in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Series, in Jordan Hall and at Harvard University, Boston. She has twice been a resident artist at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada and was also Artist-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, teaching and performing as a guest artist with the Fine Arts Quartet and as a member of the Pacific Ensemble, with whom she was invited to perform at the Gubbio Festival, Italy in 1995 before taking up her position with the ACO in Australia.
Melissa has also appeared as soloist with major Australian Orchestras, including the ACO, the Sydney and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestras. She is the winner of several awards including the ABC Young Performers Competition String Finals, Radio 2MBS-FM Listeners Award and a British-Australian “Big Brother” Award for UK studies. She has also been a recipient of an Australia Council Performing Arts grant.
In between her frequent travels with the ACO Melissa continues to give solo and chamber music recitals and record for ABC-FM, collaborating with fine local and international artists and particularly with American pianist Brenda Jones, her duo partner in the new ensemble Opus 2. Outside of her music she enjoys cooking, yoga and scuba diving in warm tropical locations.
Melissa performs on a beautiful 1846 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume cello, generously loaned to her by the ACO.
Chair sponsored by Martin Dickson AM & Susie Dickson