Equally accomplished in large ensembles and chamber groups, clarinetist Melissa Johnson Lander is an emotionally captivating artist known for her rich clarity of sound. She has performed in some of the world's greatest concert halls from Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and the Kennedy Center to many unique locales including Barrow, Alaska, the castle ruins in Heidelberg and the Royal Norwegian Palace.
During her seven years as Clarinetist with the elite US Army Field Band, Ms. Lander performed more than 800 concerts including joint concerts with the Detroit Symphony, the Boston Pops and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. As Co-Principal Clarinetist, she was a featured soloist in over 35 concerts performing the Copland Concerto and premiering a new accompaniment for the solo work Homage a Manuel de Falla by Bella Kovacs. Ms. Lander was also a member of The Pentagon Winds woodwind quintet, performing at more than 50 U.S. colleges and universities presenting recitals and master classes.
Ms. Lander gave her solo recital debut at the age of 21 with a LIVE radio broadcast on NPR as a result of winning the Neale-Silva Young Artists Competition. She has performed as Principal Clarinet with the Heidelberg Schlossfestspiel Opera Orchestra and Eastman Philharmonia, and Associate Principal of the Traverse Symphony and Bowdoin Summer Music Festival Orchestra among others. She also toured Japan with the famed Eastman Wind Ensemble under Dr. Donald Hunsberger.
Ms. Lander holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the Eastman School of Music and Interlochen Arts Academy and is currently pursing a Graduate Performance Diploma from Peabody Conservatory. Her teachers include Russ Dagon, Deborah Chodacki, Kenneth Grant, and Anthony McGill.