12/19/2014 9:56:35 PM -

Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.” She and her orchestra became widely known starting in 1994 when they released their first recording, 'Evanescence.' With that recording, Schneider began to develop her personal way of writing for her 17-member collective, made up of many of the finest musicians in jazz today, tailoring her compositions to distinctly highlight the uniquely creative voices of the group. Subsequently, the Maria Schneider Orchestra has performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide. She herself has received numerous commissions and guest conducting invites, working with over 85 groups from over 30 countries spanning Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and North America.


Schneider’s music blurs the lines between genres, and as a result, her long list of commissioners have become quite varied: the Norrbotten Big Band and Danish Radio Orchestra with Toots Thielemans and Ivan Lins, the Metropole Orchestra in the Netherlands, Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, Monterey Jazz Festival, The American Dance Festival, University of Miami Concert Jazz Band, Hunter College, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Peter Sellars’ New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna, Kronos Quartet, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra with soprano, Dawn Upshaw, the Ojai Festival, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Cal Performances.


Schneider and her orchestra have a distinguished recording career with ten GRAMMY nominations and three GRAMMY awards, spanning both jazz and classical catergories. Unique funding of projects has become a hallmark for Schneider through the trend-setting company, ArtistShare®. For these projects, she documents her creative process for participating fans, who "fan-fund" her recordings through pre-orders. She's now composed four works for her own orchestra with the participation of commissioners coming directly from her ArtistShare website fan base. Her album, Concert in the Garden (2004) became historic as the first recording to win a GRAMMY with Internet-only sales. Even more significantly, it blazed the "fan-funding" trail as ArtistShare's first release. Her albums, Concert in the Garden and Sky Blue were both named “Jazz Album of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association and DOWNBEAT Critics Poll, and received wide critical acclaim.  In 2012, her alma mater, the University of Minnesota, awarded Schneider an honorary doctorate.


She and her orchestra recently collaborated with David Bowie on his new single called, Sue (Or In A Season of Crime).  Schneider and her orchestra will be releasing a new recording, The Thompson Fields April 21st, 2015, through ArtistShare.

Bio Feb 2014
Ted Kurland Assoc.