Reviews

[St. Andrew's on the Terrace 'Piano Plus Series', Wellington, NZ. November 2013]

Beginning the recital, Melanie Lina gave us Scarlatti–two beautifully crafted Baroque sonatas here exquisitely rendered by the pianist on the modern concert grand….I loved Lina’s ‘imaging’–that sense of fantasy with which she so readily infused the music, her tempi and phrasing allowing the music to blossom and live within each bar…..followed by fingerwork which propelled the music’s thrust with Horowitz-like crystalline clarity….In Beethoven’s Les Adieux Sonata…the vigorous and reflective elements were both superbly delivered by Lina, {with} confidence and elan….A different kind of ambience informed John Psathas’ bitter-sweet Waiting for the Aeroplane, by turns nostalgic, visionary and jazzy, and here evoked with great surety…. Astounding playing of Ravel’s Alborado del gracioso…..{Lina} made it work with such tremendous zest, buoyancy and clarity…..and was able to throw off the flourishes with such amazing ‘glint’ while still making the melodies sing….{the} Chopin Waltzes were stylishly and charmingly delivered…..I thought Lina’s delivery of the first movement {Chopin B minor Sonata} very fine…..I admired her gossamer delivery of the Scherzo movement’s fleet-fingered opening……..But it was the slow movement that captured my imagination….a sense of something unique to the moment that would never be recaptured….A splendid and enjoyable recital by a pianist whose musical and communicative skills deserved oceans more than our few hands and voices could give her.

Peter Mechen for ‘Middle C’
http://middle-c.org/

[Solo recital, Cambridge, NZ. November 2013]

We are accustomed in New Zealand to hearing performers of international standing from all over the world, but it is not often that we are privileged to have one living in our midst who is willing to share her talents with us. Such was the concert by Melanie Lina. It would be hard to fault anything in the full two-hour performance, played with professional assurance…..the Chopin in particular spoke of a lifetime of study and understanding….technically demanding works were dispensed with the apparent ease which only someone with a prodigious technique could master. Add to this a modest and gracious stage presence and we are indeed the most fortunate of people.

Mark MacDonald for the Cambridge Edition

[Schumann Piano Concerto with the Northland Sinfonia]

Soloist Melanie Lina made a nigh-on ideal advocate. Focussed, undemonstrative, she looked as cool as a cucumber, her fleet fingers precisely pointing the innumerable subtle shifts of tempo and dynamics.  The effect, however, was anything but “cool”, since it was this very precision, so artfully applied, that unleashed all the red-blooded passion embedded in Schumann’s marvellously mercurial score.

Paul Serotsky for the Northern Advocate
Whangarei, New Zealand

[St. Andrew's on the Terrace, Lunchtime Recital Series, Wellington, NZ]

…..such characterful, involved playing…..skills and musicianship of a high order….poetic and dramatic as required–a magnificent rendition [of Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata].

In the wake of this performance the other item which really grabbed my attention was Melanie Lina’s astonishing playing of Debussy’s L’isle joyeuse. Here, as with the Beethoven, was, I thought, something of a grand tradition revisited, the pianist’s scintillating tones at the outset instantly at one with both idea and image of something shimmering and impulsive, all contours somehow both delineated and merged into one another, with everything made beautifully liquid. The pianist’s thematic shaping of the work’s “big melodic idea” grew beautifully from out of the textures. Lina’s command of detail, rhythm and colour realized the piece brilliantly, with a ringing flourish at the end whose sheer élan took away one’s breath with astonishment.

One hopes Wellington has not seen and heard the last of Melanie Lina, after such an exciting and stimulating solo concert.

Peter Mechen for ‘Middle C’: http://middle-c.org/
Wellington, New Zealand

[Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto with the Hutt Valley Orchestra]

…I thought Lina everywhere had the full measure of the work’s contourings, setting romantic sweep next to poetic expansiveness, but always with the music’s overall shape kept in hand….The “galloping horse” motive rang out splendidly from Melanie Lina’s piano throughout the finale’s opening. For the rest of the work, the piano took charge, driving the music towards the “big tune” at the end, Lina phrasing her lines expansively and romantically, pulling the orchestra along with her, and achieving real grandeur to finish.
The pianist was accorded a great ovation, and, I thought, deservedly so.
….All credit to pianist Melanie Lina for her marvellous exposition of a redoubtably difficult work, both technically and interpretatively – I hope we see her back in the Wellington region before too long.

Peter Mechen for ‘Middle C’: http://middle-c.org/
Wellington, New Zealand

Without exception Melanie Lina’s Rhapsody in Blue was a highlight for many, as well as her Chopin encore. Not only her playing but her appearance and manner was adored. What an asset for Hamilton.

Waikato Proms Report

Delightful piano soloist, Melanie Lina, gave a witty and sparkling account of Rhapsody in Blue, with the orchestra admirably rising to the score’s challenges.

Timothy Noon, Independent Reviewer, Auckland
Waikato Proms with the Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra

Ms. Lina played with the passion and energy of a young woman who knows her craft extremely well. …….breathtakingly powerful…….She displayed gusto and expertise, polish and zeal.

The Coromandel Peninsula Post
Whitianga, New Zealand

Just a few bars of Bach’s C minor Partita revealed a performer with unusual poise and pristine technique.  As Melanie (Hadley) Lina’s program unfolded Saturday night at the Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre , the award-winning pianist displayed additional strengths: she plays with a beautiful tone, sensitive expression and a refined sense of musical design, setting the essence of the music forth clearly without a lot of fuss or bother.

The Greenville News
Greenville, South Carolina

Charming and romantic Melanie (Hadley) Lina appeared like a brilliant star on the stage of the Samara Philharmonic.

Volzhskaya Kommuna Newspaper
Samara, Russia

…..she saved the best for last, devoting the entire second half of the program to Chopin’s Sonata in B minor. Her masterful performance was Chopin as it was meant to be played, and Hadley (Lina) received a well-deserved standing ovation after the final chords of the relentless finale.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis, Missouri

We heard petite, blonde Melanie (Hadley) Lina, with her lyrical sound, refined nuances, and poetic depth of performance in the Beethoven Third Concerto.

Volzhskaya Zarya Daily Newspaper
Samara, Russia