Melina is a Melbourne-based professional 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, formed together with flautist Kiran Phatak and violist Katie Yap. The ensemble was awarded a competitive Australian National Academy of Music Artists title and is embarking on a national tour in 2019. Melina has performed with Syzygy Ensemble, Kegelstatt Ensemble, 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 as Principal Harp 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), the Hilltop Hoods, Missy Higgins, Kate Miller-Heidke, Paul Kelly, 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 music and written essays of 20th century harpist Carlos Salzedo.
Performance highlights include the 2016 Helpmann award-winning Australian World Orchestra tour with Sir Simon Rattle, appearing as Principal Harp for the Australian World Orchestra's 2019 National Tour season, the 2014 World Harp Congress; 2017 Dark Mofo festival; 2018 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 appearing as a guest soloist for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China.
Melina performs on a 2008 concert grand Salzedo harp by Chicago makers Lyon & Healy.
As a solo harpist, Melina performs regularly at private or corporate functions.
Venues and employers have included St. John’s Lutheran Church (Southbank), GUCCI (Collins Str.), Channel Nine Studios, Channel Seven Studios, Channel Ten Studios, Foxtel, Hardy Brothers Jewellers (Collins Str.), Mazda, the Ian Potter Museum (Swanston Str.), the Plaza Ballroom (Collins Str.), the Windsor Hotel (Spring Str.), the Grand Hyatt Melbourne Hotel (Collins Str.), the Langham Hotel (Southbank Ave.), the Kelvin Club (Melbourne Pl), the Athenaeum Club (Collins Str.), Docklands (Waterfront City), Montsalvat (Eltham), Crown Casino (Southbank), Government House (Melbourne), the Acca complex (Southbank), the Arts Centre (Melbourne), Como House (South Yarra), Werribee Mansion Gardens, and the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra).