Violinist Melanie Riordan began playing the violin at the age of ten in her hometown of New Rochelle, NY. After graduating from the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College, Melanie received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University where she studied with esteemed pedagogue Cyrus Forough. While at CMU, Melanie received the Harry G. Archer award for excellence in violin studies. She received her Masters in Music from McGill University where she studied with Toronto Symphony Concertmaster Jonathan Crow. Melanie has attended the Spoleto Festival USA, National Repertory Orchestra, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the Atlantic Music Festival among others.
A champion of contemporary music, Ms. Riordan performed in the American premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s opera Émile, and Philip Glass’s opera Kepler. As a member of the Houston New Arts Movement, she appeared on Houston Public Media’s KUHA 91.7 and was chosen to perform the world premiere of Marty Regan’s The Memory Stone, commissioned and produced by the Houston Grand Opera. She has premiered numerous compositions as a Da Camera of Houston Young Artist, as a member of the Mud Turtle Guitar Quintet, and as the violinist for the Contemporary Music Ensemble at Orford Musique under the guidance of Véronique Lacroix, Artistic Director of the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal. A versatile musician, Ms. Riordan has also performed with the Houston Baroque ensembles Mercury; The Orchestra Redefined and Ars Lyrica, and has performed folk music at the Austin City Limits music festival.
As an educator, Melanie is passionate about using music as a way to uplift children in underserved communities. She was one of the premier educators for the Houston Youth Symphony Coda Music program and has been a guest instructor for Sistemang Pilipino in Cebu City, Philippines. Both programs are inspired by the famed Venezuelan music program “El Sistema”, providing free music education to underprivileged children. She received her Suzuki Violin Method Certification under the guidance of Charles Krigbaum at the Dallas-Fort Worth Suzuki Institute. Melanie is currently pursuing a Professional Performers Certificate at the Lynn University Conservatory of music under the guidance of Professor Carol Cole.