Mai is a musicologist and professional violinist. Her main research interests are: violin virtuosity, the history of musical performance, music and narrative, the cultural history of instruments, and subjectivity in performance. Mai's book Paganini, the 'Demonic' Virtuoso is forthcoming from Boydell & Brewer. She has also published articles on the image of violin virtuosi as symbols of military power, on the quality of narration projected by the violin in Rimsky-Korsakov's Shekherazade and on the viola's 'anti-virtuosic' role in Berlioz's Harold in Italy. She has presented her research at international conferences, the American Musicological Society, and the Institute of Musical Research. She is a contributor to the Hamburg Hochschule's MUGI project and is at present researching the history of violinist genealogies.
Mai is a founding member of Hauptstadtquartett (Berlin). She has played in a piano trio with Anton Lukoszevieze (cello) and Christopher Green-Armitage (piano), in the contemporary music ensemble Apartment House, as well as in the Bournemouth Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, and the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. A highlight of her performance career was performing Schoenberg's Phantasy with Leonard Stein at the Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles. Mai also has experience as an artistic administrator for the Orchestra of St. Luke's in New York, program annotator for Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and concert reviewer for Strings magazine.
At UEA, Mai teaches music history, music theory & analysis, and performance.
- Review of Concerts of Four Young London Violin Stars
- Remembering the Inspirational Russian Violinist and Pedagogue Nelli Shkolnikova
- Jansen Spectrum Concert a Perfect Potpourri
- San Francisco Quartet Premieres New Works;
- John Adams String Quartet, Mendelssohn's Birthday Concert & More
- Janine Jansen at the New York Philharmonic