Diversity is essential in a musical life. Joining the Performance Faculty in 2007 as Lecturer of Viola at the University of Virginia, Ayn Balija serves as Principal Violist of the Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra and the Charlottesville Chamber Orchestra. During the 2008 season she performed Mozart's Symphonia Concertante receiving wonderful reviews.
An avid orchestral musician, Ms. Balija performs with the Richmond Symphony, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, and various local ensembles in the area. For the 2006-2007 season she joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on their East Coast Tour.
Immersing herslf in the University and community, Ayn directs the UVA Chamber Music Series, co-directs the Student Lunchbox Recitals, provides private lessons as a Boyd Tinsley Tutor in the Charlottesville Public Schools, performs outreach concerts throughout Albemarle County, serves as President for the Virginia Viola Society and teaches in her private viola studio.
Pursuing her musical aspirations, Ayn Balija earned her BM from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and MM from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Jeffrey Irvine and Peter Slowik are her principal instructors and mentors.
Between degrees Ayn explored various teaching philosophies including Karen Tuttle's Coordination philosophy and the Suzuki Violin method. Upon completing her undergraduate studies she was a founding instructor of the Oberlin Community Music School. For four years, she provided Suzuki violin lessons, group classes, chamber music coachings, and music theory classes to Lorain County (OH).
During summers, she has attended numerous festivals including the Aspen Music Festival and School, Banff Center, Credo, and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival. She participated as an orchestral musician, chamber coach, mentor, and quartet fellow. Starting the summer of 2006, Ms. Balija was awarded the Aspen Mentor Fellowship to aid in the instruction of aspiring orchestral musicians.
Her passion for teaching at the collegiate level developed while serving as an assistant to her conservatory instructors. Other interests include modern music and early music performances on the baroque viola. She has had the opportunity to study with members of Apollo's Fire including Jeanette Sorrell and Cynthia Roberts.