Violist Melissa Reardon shares her multifaceted career as a violist, the challenges and beauty of playing in her practice room, and why she loves the viola.
Grammy-nominated violist Melissa Reardon is a versatile performer whose playing spans all genres of the viola literature. A First Prize Winner of the Washington International Competition, and the only violist to win top prizes in consecutive HAMS International Viola Competitions, Melissa’s playing has been described as “elegant” and “virtuosic” (Classical Voice). Melissa received the prize for "best performance of a newly commissioned piece" at HAMS in 2006 as well the Tourjee Award in 2002. Solo engagements have included performances at the Stevens Center, Kennedy Center, Symphony Hall, and Jordan Hall. She has performed as soloist with Camerata Notturna, the Boston Symphony and, most recently, the East Carolina Symphony.
Melissa has given recitals in North Carolina, New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, and maintains an international performing schedule as a member of the Enso String Quartet. Melissa is also a founding member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and a sought-after collaborative musician. She has performed with the Miami, Miro, Daedalus, and Borromeo Quartets, and with members of the Guarneri, Mendelssohn, Brentano, St. Lawrence and Shanghai Quartets and the Beaux Arts Trio. Melissa has appeared in numerous festivals across the US, Europe, India and Korea. Recent festivals have included Music in the Vineyards, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Bridgehampton, Charlottesville, and Sangat (Mumbai) Chamber Music Festivals. Melissa has also toured with Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble and with Musicians from Marlboro, which brought her across the US and to France. In 2006, she was chosen as one of four violists internationally to participate in Chamber Music Connects the World with Gidon Kremer and Yuri Bashmet in Kronberg, Germany. Melissa holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory. Her principal teachers include Kim Kashkashian, Michael Tree, Joseph dePasquale, Karen Tuttle, Samuel Rhodes, and Hsin-Yun Huang. Early chamber music studies were with Eugene Lehner. Since 2007 Melissa has held the position of Assistant Professor of Viola at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. She is married to the cellist Raman Ramakrishnan.