Melissa Holding is a freelance musician, performer and teacher based in Oxford. She lived in Kyoto for 9 years and specialises in the Japanese koto, playing traditional as well as improvisatory and newly composed works for the instrument. She has written, devised and performed music for the National Theatre (dir. Katie Mitchell), Japanese silent film at the Barbican and Oxford Youth Dance (dir. Cecilia Macfarlane). Since 2001 she has performed regularly all over the UK with the contemporary music ensemble Okeanos with whom she has appeared at the Warehouse, King’s Place and the Barbican. They have performed at many festivals including Cheltenham, Spitalfields, Vale of Glamorgan and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. She is also a founding member of Kismet (piano accordion, koto, vocals) with whom she has produced several recordings. She has had residencies at Dartington International Summer School and Oxford’s Botanic Garden and has been featured on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune and Hear and Now programs.