American violinist Melissa White has enchanted audiences around the world as both a soloist and chamber musician. A First Prize winner of the Sphinx Competition, Ms White has received critical acclaim for solo performances with some of America’s leading orchestras, including those of Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Colorado, as well as the Boston Pops. Internationally, she has appeared as a soloist with the Colombian Youth Orchestra in a tour of Columbia as well as in Poland with the Philharmonia Dolnoslaska under the direction of Piotr Gajewski. She has also appeared in recital in Baku, Azerbaijan and, in April 2016, served as interim concertmaster in performances and recordings with the Louisville Orchestra.
As a founding member of the highly acclaimed Harlem Quartet, Ms. White’s passion and artistry have contributed to performances that have been hailed for their “panache” by the New York Times and as “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent” by the Cincinnati Inquirer. Together with the Harlem Quartet, Ms. White has performed with luminaries such as Itzhak Perlman, Ida Kavafian, Paul Katz and Anthony McGill, and in many of the country’s most prestigious performance spaces, including Carnegie Hall, at the White House in a performance for the President and First Lady, as well as at the Kennedy Center in collaboration with Misha Dichter. Ms. White’s passion for chamber music has recently expanded to sharing the stage with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, most recently joining the world-renowned conductorless chamber orchestra for a tour of Japan.
Always looking to push and expand musical boundaries, Ms. White has also collaborated closely with several leading jazz musicians including Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Gary Burton. Following an extended international tour with Corea and Burton, her recording with Harlem Quartet and the jazz duo entitled “Mozart Goes Dancing” won three Grammy Awards, including one for Best Instrumental Composition, in February 2013.
In addition to her musical role with the Harlem Quartet, Ms. White also serves as the ensemble’s in-house grant writer. In this capacity, she has written several successful grants, including James Madison University’s Cultural Connections Artist-In-Residence Grant and a 2016 Chamber Music America Residency Grant which was designated the Guarneri String Quartet residency grant. This award will allow the Harlem Quartet to partake in an extended residency in Mobile, Alabama that will include a close partnership with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. White holds performance degrees from both the Curtis Institute of Music as well as the New England Conservatory of Music and has studied with Jaime Laredo, Ida Kavafian, Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried. Her current instrument, “Matilda,” was commissioned as part of a Sphinx MPower Artist Grant in 2014 by the American violin maker Ryan Soltis.
When she doesn’t have a violin in her hands, Ms. White is an advanced practitioner of Bikram Yoga and enjoys taking photos while exploring the many wonderful places around the world that her music has allowed her to visit.11