Melissa Howe is Chair of the String Department at Berklee College of Music, a post she has held since 2009, following many years on the faculty. “I have shifted my focus from the trees to the forest,” she says of this change. “It’s fascinating work, leading a department that offers top quality string instruction in many styles but has none of the walls that have traditionally divided these styles.”
In addition to her performances with the Alcyon Chamber Ensemble, Howe plays orchestral and chamber music in a variety of settings, including with Boston’s Lyric Opera, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Landmarks Orchestra, and the Boston Pops. Other recent performances included a Food Opera and a Video Game Quartet concert.
Howe recently completed a string quartet recording project with the Berklee Chamber Players, an ensemble of versatile Berklee faculty performers and composers, plus Alycon’s own Shannon Snapp. The CD will be released soon, and was made possible in part by support from Berklee College of Music and from the Landmarks Orchestra.
A graduate of Oberlin College and Boston University, Howe’s doctoral work focused on the groundbreaking interdisciplinary study of music, psychology, and education. At Berklee, she specializes in teaching viola, ear training, and introducing classical players to improvisation.