LSM Newswire

Monday, March 23, 2009

U of T presents Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider

University of Toronto Faculty of Music to present Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider

"To call Schneider the most important woman in jazz is missing the point in two ways. She is a major composer - period." - TIME MAGAZINE

"...she puts together stories that speak with the clarity of Ernest Hemingway and the musical grace of Aaron Copland."


TORONTO ’Äì The Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto presents Grammy Award-winning composer Maria Schneider in a lecture and a concert with the U of T Jazz Orchestras. On Thursday, April 2, the Roger D. Moore Distinguished Visitor in Composition will present a lecture in Walter Hall as part of the Thursdays at Noon Series, and on Saturday, April 4, she will join the Faculty of Music’Äôs 10 O’ÄôClock and 11 O’ÄôClock Jazz Orchestras in a concert in MacMillan Theatre. Details of the events are as follows:

Thursday, April 2, 2009
Roger D. Moore Distinguished Visitor in Composition
12:10 pm. Walter Hall, 80 Queen’Äôs Park. Free

Saturday, April 4, 2009
CONCERT with the U of T Jazz Orchestras

Maria Schneider conducts her own music with the U of T Jazz Orchestras
7:30 pm. MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queen’Äôs Park. Tickets: $14 ($8 seniors/students).
Box Office: 416-978-3744
Box office hours: 1 ’Äì 7 pm, Monday to Friday, with extended hours on performance nights.
Address: Lobby level, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen’Äôs Park, Toronto ON M5S 2C5

Maria Schneider's music has been described as evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization. Born in Windom, Minnesota, Schneider arrived in New York City in 1985 after studies at the University of Minnesota, the University of Miami and the Eastman School of Music. She immediately sought out Bob Brookmeyer to study composition, and at the same time became an assistant to Gil Evans, working on various projects with him.

The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra came into being in 1993, appearing at Visiones in Greenwich Village every Monday night for a stretch of five years. Subsequently, her orchestra has performed at festivals and concert halls across Europe as well as in Brazil and Macau. She's received numerous commissions and invites with American and Europeans orchestras, guest conducting in Brazil, Italy, Portugal, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Canada, Scotland, Australia, Greenland and Iceland, as well as across the U.S. Commissions include the Norrbotten Big Band's and Danish Radio Orchestra's commission to arrange and conduct concerts with Toots Thielemans. Other commissioning organizations include the Metropole Orchestra, Stuttgart Jazz Orchestra, Orchestre National de Jazz (Recapitulation), Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra (El Viento), Monterey Jazz Festival (Scenes from Childhood), University of Miami Concert Jazz Band (Three Romances), Hunter College (Concert in the Garden and Sky Blue), Jazz at Lincoln Center (Bulerˆ‚a, Soleˆ° y Rumba), Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (Aires de Lando) and Peter Sellars' New Crowned Hope Festival (Cerulean Skies). Maria was also the recipient of a Doris Duke award to compose a dance work (Dissolution) in collaboration with the Pilobolus dance group. It was performed with her orchestra at the American Dance Festival and Kennedy Center. Her latest major work, commissioned by The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, debuted in October of 2008 Written to feature soprano, Dawn Upshaw, it is entitled Carlos Drummond de Andrade Stories.

Schneider has had a distinguished recording career as well. Her debut recording Evanescence, was nominated for two 1995 Grammy Awards. Her second and third recordings Coming About and Allˆ©gresse were also nominated for Grammys. Her third album, Allˆ©gresse was chosen by both TIME and BILLBOARD in their Top Ten Recordings of 2000, inclusive of all genres of music.

Concert in the Garden, released only through her website (an ArtistShare¬Æ site), was a watershed in her career when she won the 2005 Grammy Award for “ÄåBest Large Ensemble Album“Äç and became the first Grammy-winning recording with Internet-only sales. It also received“ÄåJazz Album of the Year“Äç by the Jazz Journalists Awards and the DOWNBEAT Critics Poll. Both also awarded her “ÄåComposer of the Year“Äç and“ÄåArranger of the Year“Äç and the Jazz Journalists also named her group “ÄåLarge Jazz Ensemble of the Year“Äç.

Her newest fan-funded ArtistShare¬Æ recording, Sky Blue, was released in July 2007 and received unanimous praise. It was nominated for two Grammy Awards, winning one in the category of “ÄåBest Instrumental Composition“Äç (Cerulean Skies). The album received the honor of “ÄåJazz Album of the Year“Äç from the VILLAGE VOICE Critics Poll as well as a Choc Award in France and was one of only two albums to receive a five-star review from DOWNBEAT in 2007.

Artist website:

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