MELINA VAN LEEUWEN // harp
Harpist Melina van Leeuwen performs nationally as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral performer.
An avid chamber music artist, she is a founding member of the Chrysalis Trio, and has performed with Inventi Ensemble, Forest Collective, Halcyon ensemble, and Australia’s Seven Harp Ensemble. In 2016 she was a featured soloist for the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra's opening concert series 'Classical Visions', celebrating the MCO's 25th Anniversary year. Melina has also appeared with the Australian World Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Australian Youth Orchestra and both the Tasmanian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. Popular artist collaborations include performing with the Violent Femmes (USA), Paul Kelly, the Hilltop Hoods, Missy Higgins, Kate Miller-Heidke, Evanescence (USA), Josh Groban (USA) and "kamikaze cabaret" artist Meow Meow.
A recipient of a National Undergraduate Scholarship at the Australian National University, Melina completed a Bachelor of Music in 2012 with a High Distinction average under the tutelage of Alice Giles. Previously, Melina studied with Xanya Mamunya and Jacinta Dennett. From 2013-2014 Melina was the harpist at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). In 2016 she received an Australian Postgraduate Award at Melbourne University, where she is currently completing her PhD investigation into the philosophical writings of 20th century harpist Carlos Salzedo.
Performance highlights include the 2016 Helpmann award-winning Australian World Orchestra tour with Sir Simon Rattle, 2014 World Harp Congress; 2017 Dark Mofo festival; Port Fairy Spring Music Festival; Canberra International Music Festival; Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music; the 2013 ARIA-award winning ‘Conversations with Ghosts’ collaborative project of James Ledger, Paul Kelly and Genevieve Lacey; and the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China.
Melina performs on a 2008 concert grand Salzedo harp by Chicago makers Lyon & Healy.