Ai Melby - Nevada School of the Arts

With NSA Since



Violin, Viola


Private Lessons, Chamber Music

As the daughter of two musicians in the New Japan Philharmonic, Ai grew up in Tokyo where she studied viola performance at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Her studies continued at Northern Illinois University, where she won the concerto competition performing Bartok’s Viola Concerto. Her teachers and mentors include Tomako Shirao, Richard Young, Li-Kuo Chang, Yukiko Ogura, and the Vermeer Quartet.

Ai has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Grant Park Orchestra, and as principal violist with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She was also the principal violist for the Western Piedmont Symphony in North Carolina and a founding member of the Kontras Quartet. She has traveled the world to appear at music festivals including the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival working with the Tokyo String Quartet, and the Pacific Music Festival performing with members of the Vienna Philharmonic.

Over the past 6 years, Ai has been a member of the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, led the Midwest String Orchestra, and taught viola for Elmhurst University. In June 2022, Ai was honored to perform with the Avalon Quartet for the Ravinia Steans Music Institute at the famed Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL. In August 2022, Ai moved from Chicago to Las Vegas with her husband and two beautiful (and musically talented) daughters, where she is excited to continue her music career and join the faculty of the Nevada School of the Arts.