Melinda Watzel (nee Crean) was born in Melbourne and began playing the violin when she was 8 years old. She was a founding member of the Junior Strings of Melbourne (now known as the Melbourne String Ensemble) and was a member for five years - 1986 to 1990. After winning numerous prizes and awards in Australia, she began her studies at the Klagenfurt Conservatorium (Austria) in 1990 and from 1991-1995 was a student of Professor Igor Ozim at the Hochschule fur Musik - Cologne, Germany. She also studied chamber music with the Alban Berg Quartet and the Amadeus Quartet. In 1995 Melinda moved to Berlin, having been accepted into the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1996 she was winner of the Australian Music Foundation Award in London. From 1999-2002 she completed a post-graduate performance degree at the University of the Arts Berlin under the guidance of Professors Mi-Kyung Lee and Antje Weithaas. From 1998-2001 she was a scholarship holder from the Villa Musica Foundation. Melinda has been a member of the Komische Oper Berlin since 2002 and the orchestra's principal 2nd Violin since 2009. She plays regularly as guest principal in the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchestra Berlin, Staatsoper (State Opera) Berlin, Staatsoper Hamburg, Staatsoper Hannover and the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Melinda has been a member of the Australian World Orchestra since its foundation in 2011 and has played in every AWO program since its inception.
MSE Auditions now open
Melbourne String Ensemble acknowledges the Wurundjeri, Woi-Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation, upon whose Country we are based and recognises their continuing connections to community, culture and country. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.