AUSTA Performance Artists Register
Melinda Gourlay Biography Melinda Gourlay was born in Perth, Western Australia, where she began chamber and orchestral music as a member of the West Australian Youth Orchestra studying with Rod McGrath. After moving to the UK to study she graduated with a first class BMus (Hons), Postgraduate Diploma, and a Masters in Music Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music. At the RNCM she studied with Susan Sheppard (baroque cello), Alice Neary and Karine Georgian and was supported by the Dorothy Stone Fund.
She has played in masterclasses for Johannes Gortizki, Anner Bylsma, Ralph Kirshbaum, Steven Doane, Colin Carr and Hannah Roberts, and highlights of her solo career include performing for the Scottish International Cello Festival 2011 and Ticino Musica in Switzerland 2010. Melinda has given chamber music recitals as a member of the Watahiki Quartet around England – whilst a member the quartet reached the final of the RNCM Granada Prize and was awarded first place in the RNCM Hirsch Prize in 2008.
The quartet received coaching from a variety of chamber groups such as the Alberni Quartet, Endellion String Quartet, Sorrel Quartet, and Gould Piano Trio. In 2011 Melinda joined the Eris Ensemble, performing new commissions and baroque trios around Scotland. As a baroque cellist, she has performed with early music specialists I Fagiolini and played continuo for the Yorke Trust. Supporting contemporary music is important to Melinda and she regularly performs new commissions as a soloist, chamber musician and also as a core player for the Size Zero Opera Company in London. While a student Melinda led all RNCM orchestras, including the RNCM Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Vassily Sinaisky. She has performed with the Britten-Pears Orchestra for many years, and was selected last year to play with the Maribor International Orchestra in Slovenia, which performed around Europe.
In the UK Melinda worked as a freelance musician with orchestras and chamber ensembles around the country, including the Ulster Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, English National Orchestra and Jersey Chamber Orchestra. In 2012 Melinda was selected to play with the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan. Since 2013 Melinda has worked as a freelance cellist in Perth, performing with WASO, the Caladenia ensemble and the Perth Symphony Orchestra. Melinda plays the ‘Turin’ cello by G.B. Guadagnini.