Melanie A. Riordan

Violin, Viola Teacher

Melanie Riordan

SAA Member


Houston, TX
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Houston area 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 at McGill University, studying with Toronto Symphony Concertmaster Jonathan Crow. Melanie has attended the Spoleto Festival USA, Orchestre de la Francophonie, National Repertory Orchestra, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the Atlantic Music Festival among others.

Ms. Riordan enjoys historically informed practices and has recently performed with the Houston based early music ensembles Mercury Baroque and Ars Lyrica. A champion of contemporary music, Melanie was selected as one of two violinists to perform the world premier of Marty Regan’s The Memory Stone, commissioned and produced by the Houston Grand Opera for their most recent season. She was also a member of the orchestra for the American premier of Kaija Saariaho’s opera Emile, and Philip Glass’s
Kepler at the Spoleto Festival USA in 2011 and 2012. During the 2016 summer season she will participate in the Contemporary Music Festival at the Centre D’Arts Orford in Québec as a select violinist.

Ms. Riordan is also an avid educator. She received her Suzuki Violin Method training under the guidance of Charles Krigbaum at the Dallas-Fort Worth Suzuki institute. Melanie is passionate about using music education as a way to uplift children in underserved communities. She currently teaches for the Houston Youth Symphony Coda Music program, and 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 currently maintains a large private studio of young violinists and violists throughout the greater Houston area and continues her own studies privately with University of Houston faculty member, Dr. Kirsten Yon.