Melanie has performed nationally and internationally as a recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral player
She's played in venues as far flung as Vancouver Island, Malta, and Northern Sweden as well as UK venues such as St John’s Smith Square, the Royal Opera House and Wigmore Hall. A founding member of one of the UK’s leading wind ensembles, the New London Chamber Ensemble, she has released several CDs, including Nielsen’s Wind & Piano Chamber Music. ‘…Performances and sound quality are outstanding in every regard’ International Record Review.
Originally a medical student at King’s College Cambridge, Melanie ultimately graduated with a Master of Philosophy degree in Musicology. She was subsequently awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship at the Royal College of Music where she studied oboe with Michael Winfield, contemporary oboe with Edwin Roxburgh and piano with Phyllis Sellick.
Melanie has since collaborated with numerous artists including the Dante, Schidlof and Emperor string quartets, pianists Ann Martin-Davis, Michael Dussek and Angela Hewitt, and baritone Gerald Finlay. Over the last few years, her performances have included recitals with Angela Hewitt and the New London Chamber Ensemble at Wigmore Hall, the premiere of the ensemble’s newly commissioned Nonet by Martin Butler with the Dante Quartet at the Cheltenham Festival, touring and recording Mahler’s 10th Symphony at Philharmonie Hall in Berlin with the International Mahler Orchestra, and recitals at the Royal Opera House with the Ellipsis Ensemble. Her most recent recording was a disc Martin Butler’s chamber music with the New London Chamber Ensemble and Navarra Quartet for NMC.
She regularly coaches and gives masterclasses; she has been a guest tutor for numerous projects, including Chamber Music International, the Aberystwyth Music Festival, Hamburg Hochschule für Musik und Theater and the Penderecki Musik Akademie, and was for many years Associate Director and woodwind tutor for the National Youth Chamber Orchestra. As well as her work at the Royal Academy, she teaches at the Purcell School of Music, and coaches for Cambridge University. Her scientific interest continues in the form of ongoing research into the use of Electromyography to help to reduce strain injuries in musical training.
In 2018, the New London Chamber Ensemble recorded Philip Cashian's dectet Settala’s Machine in the Royal Academy of Music’s Angela Burgess Recital Hall, with Moriarty Winds, recent graduates, and Leverhulme Chamber Music Fellows at the Academy. With support from the Royal Academy of Music’s Research Department, Melanie Ragge commissioned film-maker David Lefeber to make a short film of the recording project, exploring the educational value of side-by-side projects in preparing young musicians for the profession. You can also listen to an audio recording of the piece.
Image credit: Fiona Hanson