Violinist Melissa White on performing Price violin concerto with Michigan’s Midland Symphony

Posted on: November 5, 2021

Melissa White in performance with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, March 2021. Photo: Lee Snow

“Lansing native Melissa White doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t playing the violin. The classically trained violist will be the guest artist at Midland Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming concert on Nov. 13,” writes Victoria Ritter in Tuesday’s (11/2) Midland Daily News (MI). “White’s interest in the instrument was piqued at age 4 when she saw famed violinist Itzhak Perlman on ‘Sesame Street.’ Two years later, she began violin lessons through Michigan State University’s community program…. White … is one of the founding members of the Harlem Quartet [and] has worked with orchestras across the globe as well as artists including Bruno Mars…. White will join the Midland Symphony Orchestra later this month to play [Florence] Price’s first masterwork, Violin Concerto No. 1…. As a Black woman herself, … White identifies with Price’s upbringing and her fight to have her voice be heard. ‘I loved the soulful nature of her writing and the harmonic progression,’ White said. ‘It’s quite powerful.’ … Price’s concerto holds another special meaning for White, as she played it in her last concert in February 2020 before theaters closed and shows were cancelled due to the pandemic.” The Midland Symphony program will also include Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony.