Based in Sydney, Australia Melissa has a very active and fulfilling career as a period flautist, recorder player, and teacher on the Australian early music scene. She has been Principal flute of The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (ABO) since 2003, and a core member of the Australian Haydn Ensemble (AHE) since its formation. Melissa performs and records regularly with Pinchgut Opera in the Orchestra of the Antipodes and has performed with many groups including Ironwood, Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO), Latitude 37, The Marais Project, The Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra, Luduvico’s Band, Sinfonia Australis, Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, among others.
Melissa’s undergraduate studies were at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Howard Oberg and Geoffrey Collins. She undertook post-graduate studies and Masters in modern flute, recorder and traverso with Marten Root, Harrie Starreveld and Walter van Hauwe at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
In 2012 she travelled to Europe to take lessons with Karl Kaiser, Wilbert Hazelzet, and Lisa Besnosiuk thanks to an ABO International Baroque Study Program and an Australia Council Professional Development Grant .
As a flute soloist in May this year Melissa performed Abel’s Concerto in G major with NZ Barok, New Zealand’s national period orchestra. Last year she performed CPE Bach’s Flute Concerto in D Minor with AHE under the direction of Erin Helyard. Previous concerto performances include Vivaldi’s la Notte concerto, Telemann’s Flute and Violin Concerto, Telemann’s Flute and Recorder concerto, Benda’s Flute Concerto in E minor, Abel’s Concerto in G, Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto with harpist Marshall Macguire, Mozart’s Andante for Flute and Orchestra, K. 315, and Gretry’s Flute Concerto in C major with the Orchestra of the Antipodes. She has worked with directors Ricardo Minasi, Paul Dyer, Stefano Montanari, and Kris Bezuidenhout with the ABO and Marc Destrube and Erin Helyard with AHE.
Melissa’s most recent recording (released October 2017) is a unique interpretation of Beethoven Piano concertos 1 and 3 in chamber arrangements with Neal Peres da Costa and AHE, exploring the stylistic attitudes of the period and colours of the Graf piano in combination with period instruments in this chamber arrangement. Melissa appears as flute soloist with Pinchgut Opera in Gretry’s flute concerto in the 2- disc album L’amant Jaloux with the Orchestra of the Antipodes. In 2016 the Australian Haydn Ensemble released its debut CD, The Haydn Album, featuring Haydn Symphony No. 6 in D major ‘Le Matin’, the Haydn Cello Concerto in C major with soloist Danny Yeadon and CPE Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto in D major with soloist Erin Helyard. Other recent recordings include The Romantics – Grieg/Mendelssohn/Paganini with Shunske Sato as soloist in Paganini violin concerto with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra -Brandenburg Celebrates released in August 2015, featuring Melissa as soloist with the Telemann flute and violin Concerto in E minor, Smorgasbord Swedish Baroque and Folk music with The Marais Project featuring Roman flute sonata, and touchons du bois, released in 2013.
Melissa has had more than 20 years experience teaching flutes and recorders, and has given workshops/lectures and masterclasses at the Flute Connections Studio, MLC School, the Australian Flute Festival and with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Australian Haydn Ensemble.
Melissa has recently taken the position of period flute teacher at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and was guest baroque flute lecturer at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music for 2017. Melissa has a busy teaching studio in Sydney for private students and ensembles with early flutes and recorders, and also teaches baroque style for modern flute and recorder. Melissa also tutors high school students interested in playing in chamber music ensembles on period instruments.