Melville, Alison


Instruments Played
Recorder, Flute

Current Performance Ensembles
Toronto Consort
The Bird Project
Ensemble Polaris

Personal Summary / Bio

Since playing her first CBC radio gig at 20, Alison Melville's career as a performer on historical flutes and recorders has taken her across Canada and to the USA, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand and Europe.


A member of Toronto Consort and Ensemble Polaris and Artistic Director of the Bird Project, she plays frequently with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra both as a soloist and orchestral player, and has appeared with the Toronto Symphony, Aradia Ensemble, Soundstreams, New Music Concerts, Chatham Baroque, Oberlin Baroque Ensemble, Boston Early Music Festival, Early Music Vancouver, Opera Atelier, and many, many others. Alongside performances in Tokyo's Bunkamura Hall, Carnegie Hall and other celebrated venues she has also concertized in cinemas, convents, gardens, barns, ferries, school gymnasiums, prisons...


With extensive television, film and radio credits (CBC/Radio-Canada, BBC, RNZ, NPR, Iceland State Broadcast Service and others), Alison has played for the soundtracks of The Tudors, The Borgias and The Vikings, CBC-TV’s beloved ‘The Friendly Giant’, and films by Atom Egoyan, Ang Lee, Amnon Buchbinder and others. She can be heard on over 50 CDs including several critically acclaimed solo recordings.


Her own music has been heard with Polaris, ‘999 Years of Music (dir. Peter Hannan), Post-Medieval Syndrome, Ensemble Polaris, the Bird Project, and on soundtracks for films by Stephen Dirkes and Malcolm Sutherland.


Alison Melville was on the teaching faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in the USA from 1999-2010, and currently teaches at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto. She studied in Toronto, London (UK) and at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel, CH) as the recipient of awards and scholarships from the University of Toronto, Canada Council for the Arts, Women’s Art Association of Canada, Royal Conservatory of Music, and others.


‘She approaches this treasury of melody with a fine ear and a stunning technique on both instruments, but also with that swaggering x-factor which allows her to bring out the essential character of this idiomatic repertoire.’ Early Music Forum of Scotland Newsletter


‘Si l’angélisme est une entreprise, alors celle de ces musiciens de Toronto est promise à une belle prospérité… les pièces sur ce disque constituent de beaux exemples de musique profane anglaise du 17e siècle…jouées avec brillance par les musiciens torontois. Alison Melville est une interprète de premier niveau…’ Scena Musicale





Professional Performer or Semi-Pro Performer

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