Melanie Lançon is Principal Flute of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in New Zealand. Praised for her passionate and captivating interpretations of the orchestral repertoire, she is also in demand as a recitalist, soloist, chamber musician, and teacher in Australasia and North America. She was one of two jurors selected for the prestigious 2019 Gisborne International Music Competition, and recently performed as soloist with Camerata Pacifica in California.
Ms. Lançon has collaborated with a myriad of distinguished conductors and celebrated artists, including Pierre Boulez, Daniel Barenboim, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Pinchas Zukerman, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Renee Fleming, Anna Netrebko, Yo-Yo Ma, Yuja Wang, and Itzhak Perlman. She recently made her Auckland Philharmonia solo debut under the baton of Carlos Miguel Prieto.
In the United States, Ms. Lançon has performed as guest principal flutist with the orchestras of Seattle, San Diego, Fort Worth, Louisiana, and Pacific Symphony. During her year as guest principal with Seattle Symphony, Ms. Lançon recorded Dutilleux’s Symphony No. 2 “Le double” with the orchestra on their Grammy Award-winning album Dutilleux 2, and was lauded in Memeteria for her “beautiful playing of the arresting improvisatory flute passage” in the North American premiere of Pascal Dusapin’s Violin Concerto with Renaud Capuçon as soloist.
From 2013 to 2016, Ms. Lançon held the position of Principal Flute with Central City Opera in Colorado, and served as Acting 2nd Flute in Utah Symphony & Utah Opera for their 2014-15 season. She was previously a Fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, where she worked closely with Founder and Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas. He described her as a “beguiling player…full of spontaneity”, and she was acclaimed for her “dazzling performances, infused with depth of both technique and interpretation” by South Florida Classical Review. Other appearances include the Baton Rouge Symphony, American Ballet Theatre, Houston Grand Opera & Ballet Orchestras, and Civic Orchestra of Chicago. During the summer months, she has participated in the National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, Music Academy of the West, and Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach.
A key performer on numerous broadcasts and recordings, Ms. Lançon is featured in Peter Shickele’s video production P.D.Q. Bach in Houston: We Have a Problem! and as solo flutist in the film Domus, which accompanies designer John Saladino’s book, Villa. She has been featured on Radio New Zealand, CBS Miami, Minnesota Public Radio, and can be heard on recordings with Seattle, Utah, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras.
In addition to her performance experience, Ms. Lançon is recognized as a dedicated music educator. She has given lectures to the flute studios at University of Waikato (NZ) and Louisiana State University (US), and served as Adjunct Professor of Flute at New World School of the Arts at Miami-Dade College from 2013 to 2014. During her fellowship with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Ms. Lançon was an active member of MusiCorps - a community engagement group which involved teaching music classes in the Chicago City Colleges and elementary schools. Additionally, she created and organized educational programs for young audiences as coordinator of the JUMP! outreach program at Rice University. In 2015 she joined WindSync on their Midwest Tour and Schubert Club residency in St. Paul, Minnesota, where they gave numerous recitals and presented educational programs to more than 10,000 students.
A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Ms. Lançon received her Master’s degree from Rice University and earned her Bachelor’s degree with honors from Northwestern University, where she won the school’s Concerto Competition. She credits her musical journey and influence to her teachers - Walfrid Kujala, Leone Buyse, Timothy Day, and of course her very first flute teacher - Jill Swetnam.