An artist deeply dedicated to the range of violin and chamber music repertoire, violinist Violaine Melançon is Associate Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. She was a member of the violin and chamber music faculties of the Peabody Conservatory until 2019 and was for thirty years the founding violinist of the Peabody Trio which was ensemble-in-residence at the Peabody Conservatory from 1987 to 2016. After winning the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1989, the Peabody Trio established itself as an important presence in the chamber music world and as dedicated teachers and mentors to a generation of young musicians. As a member of the Peabody Trio, Ms. Melançon gave a New York debut in 1990 at Alice Tully Hall and performed on the most important chamber music series in North America and abroad. Their reputation as champions of new music garnered them an invitation to the first Biennale for contemporary music, Tempus Fugit, in Tel Aviv, and the opportunity to commission and perform the music of many of today’s most inspired musical voices. After thirty years of music-making, the trio played its final concert in San Francisco, the city where it was formed.
She performs recitals annually, exploring unusual gems of the solo and violin-piano duo repertoire. Ms. Melançon is from Québec, Canada. After receiving First Prize in violin at the Conservatoire de Musique at the age of seventeen, she continued her studies with Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute of Music, with Isadore Tinkleman at the San Francisco Conservatory and with Arthur Grumiaux in Belgium. While at Curtis, she was a member of the Nisaika Quartet, prize winner of the 8th International String Quartet competition in Evian, France. Ms. Melançon is also the recipient of many awards for solo performance including the 1984 Prix d’Europe. In 1983, she formed the Knopp-Melançon Duo, an artistic collaboration which would eventually expand to become the Peabody Trio. In 1987, as a result of having been appointed USIA Artistic Ambassadors, the duo toured abroad extensively and made their Washington, DC debut at the Kennedy Center. Since then, her activities as a chamber musician, soloist with orchestras, and teacher have taken her to major music centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Japan.
She has participated in many summer festivals as violinist, teacher and guest artist, including those of Tanglewood, Ravinia, Skaneateles, Rockport, Orford, the National Orchestral Institute and Festival, Music in the Vineyards and Yellow Barn. She gives yearly masterclasses at the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival. These days, Domaine Forget International Music and Dance Academy and the Summer Violin Institute at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music in Chicago are where she teaches during the summer months.
Her post-Covid confinement 2021 recent projects have included the Complete Sonatas of J.S. Bach for violin and harpsichord in two live concerts with keyboardist Ilya Poletaev, one featuring the works on violin and piano, the other on baroque violin and harpsichord with original tuning. Violaine Melançon’s performances can be heard on the Naxos, Artek, CRI, and New World Records labels.