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Melanie A Riordan

Melanie A Riordan

  • She/Her
  • Biography

    My name is Melanie, and I’m the Artistic Director of the Summer Strings Academy for Girls. The SSAG was born out of my passion for music education and a great need for gender representation in the classical music industry. I began my musical journey at the age of four and have had many amazing teachers throughout my life. While they all played a significant role in my development, the most impactful, influential, and inspiring of those teachers have all been women. Their level of dedication, genuine empathy, and passion have made me who I am today as a violinist, educator and human being. After a great deal of reflection during the Covid-19 shut down, I realized that the world needs a safe space for young female and gender non-conforming classical musicians to study, thrive and bond. And so, I created the Summer Strings Academy for Girls; a safe community where young musicians from around the world can learn from the best, build strong friendships, and become part of the movement for inclusivity in classical music.

    The Summer Strings Academy for Girls is a summer festival for enthusiastic and committed female and gender non-conforming string students aged 14 - 24. The SSAG is dedicated to creating a safe space to uplift, empower and inspire young women and GNC musicians. During the 4-week academy, students will receive weekly private lessons from our all-female faculty, perform in studio and master classes with guest artists, participate in discussions with pioneering women in the classical music industry, learn about some of today’s leading female composers through our composer spotlight series, and watch virtual concerts by some of today's most exciting performers. Our goal at the SSAG is to provide each student with the technical skills they need to excel on their instrument, real-world insight regarding 21st century career possibilities, and the education and tools needed for navigating a career in a predominantly male industry.

    Professional Experience

    • Education


    • NYC/Tri-State Area
    • Florida/Gulf Coast

    Interested in touring?

    • Yes

    Maestra Expertise

    • Instrumentalist/Pit Musician

    Primary Instruments

    • Viola
    • Violin

    Person of Color?

    • Yes