2019 Gisborne International Music Competition Jurors 


Melanie Lançon
Principal Flute, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Praised for her passionate and captivating interpretations of the orchestral repertoire, Ms. Lançon is also in demand as a recitalist, soloist, chamber musician, and teacher in Australasia and North America. She was recently featured as soloist with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra and Camerata Pacifica in California, and has performed as guest principal flutist with the orchestras of Seattle, San Diego, Fort Worth, Louisiana, and Pacific Symphony in the United States.

Ms. Lançon has collaborated with a myriad of distinguished conductors and celebrated artists, most notably 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. In addition, she has worked with renowned composers John Adams and John Williams.

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, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, and Music Academy of the West.

Ms. Lançon has been a key performer on numerous broadcasts and recordings. She 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. She was highlighted on CBS Miami in 2012, Minnesota Public Radio in 2015, and has recorded with Seattle, Utah, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras.

In addition to her performance experience, Ms. Lançon is recognised as a passionate music educator. She has given lectures to the flute studio at Louisiana State University, 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 organised educational programs for young audiences as coordinator of the JUMP! outreach program at Rice University. Most recently, she joined WindSync on their Midwest Tour and Schubert Club residency in St. Paul, Minnesota, where they presented programs to over 10,000 students over the course of two weeks.

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana (USA), Ms. Lançon received her Master’s degree from Rice University in Houston and earned her Bachelor’s degree with honours from Northwestern University in Chicago, where she won the school’s 2003 Concerto Competition. Her primary teachers include Walfrid Kujala, Leone Buyse, and Timothy Day.


Julian Smiles
Cellist, Goldner String Quartet

Julian Smiles has for over 25 years been a central figure in cello performance and teaching in Australia. On graduating from the Canberra School of Music he was appointed principal cellist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and rapidly gained prominence as a chamber musician in performances for Musica Viva Australia, Kathryn Selby and Friends and at the Huntington Estate Music Festival.

In 1991 he was invited to join the Australia Ensemble@UNSW, and in 1995 formed the Goldner String Quartet with colleagues Dene Olding, Dimity Hall and Irina Morozova. With these two chamber groups he has performed to critical acclaim at major venues and festivals throughout the world, made over 30 CDs on leading labels, and premiered many works by Australian and International composers.

Julian has appeared frequently as guest principal cello with orchestras including the Sydney Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony, Australian Opera and Ballet and Auckland Philharmonic Orchestras.

He is also active as a soloist with numerous concerto appearances. Recent artistic collaborations also include such musicians as Piers Lane, Tasmin Little, Edgar Meyer and James Crabb.

Having studied with Nelson Cooke and renowned cellist and teacher Janos Starker, Julian has developed a school of cello playing based on thorough and ongoing analysis of musical and technical issues that sees him sought after as a teacher and chamber music coach. He has held teaching positions at the Australian Institute of Music and Canberra School of Music, and is Senior Lecturer in Cello at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

During 2018 Julian’s high standing as an artist was recognised by being featured as the Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s inaugural “Artist in Focus”, performing recitals and as a concerto soloist.

2019 sees Julian performing with the Goldner Quartet at the prestigious Wigmore Hall in London and in Musica Viva’s Sydney Festival, representing Australia at the Venice Biennale, and making his regular appearances at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, the “Music in the Hunter” Festival and the Huntington Estate Music Festival.