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 many of America’s leading symphony orchestras, including those of Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Colorado, as well as the Boston Pops. Internationally she has appeared as soloist with the Colombian Youth Orchestra in South America, the Philharmonia Dolnoslaska in Poland and, most recently, in recital in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Ms. White’s passion for chamber music has also grown into a love for ensemble playing—she has recently begun sharing the stage as a guest with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and has also served as interim concertmaster with the Louisville Orchestra, with whom she has also performed as a featured soloist.
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, Jeremy Denk, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, and Paquito D’Rivera, and in the country’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and in special performance for the Obamas at the White House. The musically versatile ensemble has been featured on WNBC, and CNN. In 2009, they appeared Christmas morning on NBC’s Today Show, and made their European debut the following year at the residence of the U.S. ambassador to the U.K. Following a concert tour of twenty-five major cities, Harlem Quartet’s recording with Chick Corea and Gary Burton entitled Mozart Goes Dancing won a 2013 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition. Harlem Quartet continued to collaborate with Corea and Burton on a tour of Japan in 2014, and in November 2016 the sextet reunited for Corea’s 75th Birthday Celebration at New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club.
In her administrative capacity with the Harlem Quartet, Ms. White has successfully procured funding for numerous projects, including James Madison University’s Cultural Connections Residency and the prestigious 2016 Chamber Music America/Guarneri String Quartet Residency Grant, which allowed the Harlem Quartet to partake in an extended residency in Mobile, Alabama that included a close partnership with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra and area schools.
Ms. White holds performance degrees from both the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music, where she was the student of 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 the co-founder and artistic director of Intermission, a new program that combines music and yoga.