Described as a "poet with titanium fingers" by the Vancouver Sun, pianist Melody Quah has performed on the stages of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Japan, China, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, England, Poland, India, Lithuania and the USA. Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, she is a prizewinner of the 7th International Paderewski Competition held in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Melody has soloed with the Ku-Ring-Gai Symphony and Central Coast Symphony Orchestras in Australia, the Pomeranian Philharmonic in Poland, and the Richmond Philharmonic, Academy Philharmonic, Vancouver Philharmonic, West Coast Symphony and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras in Canada. In 2018, Melody performed with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Jun Märkl. She has also performed at the Malaysian Philharmonic Hall for the Gala Opening of the 4th ASEAN International Chopin Competition.
Quah is also a proponent of broadening the piano repertoire with compositions by under-represented composers. In 2019 she commissioned Malaysian composers Adeline Wong and Tazul Tajuddin to write two solo piano works, which she premiered in the 2020-2021 season, and presented at the Music Teachers National Association Conference in 2021. Most recently, she commissioned a new piece by Canadian/Iranian composer, Parisa Sabet, to be premiered in 2023.
In collaboration with the Prokofiev Society of America and Yale School of Music, she performed as part of the complete Prokofiev Sonatas project at Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, after which the New York Times reviewed, “she had admirable refinement and achieved power through crisp attack and clarity.” These concerts were also presented at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Central Conservatory of Music (Piano Academy at Gulangyu), China. As a chamber musician, Melody has performed at Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and has collaborated with artists such as cellist Michael Kannen and trumpeter Joe Burgstaller.
Melody has given masterclasses and lectures to students and teachers at the Canadian Yamaha Summer Camps in Toronto and Vancouver. She has presented masterclasses at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, at UCSI and UiTM universities in Malaysia, at Medan Musik School in Indonesia, and for institutions such as Baylor University, University of Georgia, Elizabethtown College, Bucknell University, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is an active adjudicator and presenter for the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and College Music Society (CMS).
Quah has a long history of community-engaged music-making. She regularly gives presentations at senior living communities and schools, performs benefit concerts internationally, and, between 2016–2020 served as Music Director of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore, MD. She also served as a Junior Board Member of the Shriver Hall Concert Series in Baltimore between 2015–2017. She is currently on the board of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association.
Melody is currently Assistant Professor of Piano at Penn State University. Prior, she served as Visiting Instructor of Applied Piano at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. She has been on the faculties of the Community College of Baltimore County and Levine Music in Washington D.C., and taught secondary piano lessons at Yale University.
Melody earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University as well as graduate degrees from the Yale School of Music and The Juilliard School. She received her Bachelor of Music from the Vancouver Academy of Music and completed her high school education at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney. Melody's principal teachers included Boris Slutsky, Peter Frankl, Matti Raekallio, Lee Kum Sing, and Snezana Panovska.
Go here to learn about Melody's early years.