Violinist Melissa White Joins University at Buffalo Faculty
The American violinist is founder of the GRAMMY Award-winning Harlem Quartet and first prize winner of Detroit’s Sphinx Competition
One of six new faculty members of the music department at New York’s University at Buffalo (UB), American violinist Melissa White has assumed her role as professor of music specializing in violin performance.
A first-prize laureate in the Sphinx Competition, White has performed with leading U.S. ensembles including the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Pops, Louisville Orchestra, and the Atlanta, Baltimore, Colorado, Detroit, and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras.
She has also appeared solo with Poland’s Fillharmonia Dolnoslaska, the Czech National Philharmonic, and performed recitals in Azerbaijian and Poland. Additionally, she has performed with pop artists Pharrell, Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys, and Lauryn Hill, and has been featured solo in the soundtrack to Jordan Peele’s 2019 film Us.
“So far, I think it’s an amazing community — both here on the university’s campus as well as the Buffalo community at large,” she said about her new role. “My colleagues in the Department of Music have welcomed me warmly with open arms.
“I would say the best thing about being on faculty here at UB is that it feels like people genuinely enjoy being here — faculty, students and staff alike — and when someone enjoys being where they are, it offers an inspiring environment in which to create,” she added. “My students are phenomenal. We’re getting to know each other through our lessons and coaching, which has been an absolute joy. They’re all hungry to learn, to work hard, and to grow as artists and humans. It’s truly a special place to be and I’m excited to grow here!”
As part of the New York-based Harlem Quartet since 2006, White has worked with Itzhak Perlman, Ida Kavakian, Paul Katz, and Anthony McGill, plus has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the White House, and the Kennedy Center. The string quartet was named quartet-in-residence at Montclair State University in Fall 2021 and has been the visiting quartet-in-residence at London’s Royal College of Music since 2016.
White is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and New England Conservatory, where her mentors included Jaime Laredo, Ida Kavafian, Donald Weilerstein, and Miriam Fried. White currently serves as music artist faculty at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
Represented worldwide by New York’s Sciolino Artist Management, she plays a c.1780 Ferdinando Gagliano violin made possible by Strumenti.
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