With her technical skills as an extraordinary cellist and gifted creator, Margaret Maria is emerging as a unique exciting new voice in the world of new music. Her talents have been described by her colleagues as ‘an unstoppable force of nature – seamless in its complete unification of technical and subconscious realms’, making Margaret Maria’s music one of a kind and mystifying in its process and creation. The majority of her music has come forth with full force in the last 3 years, making her ascent as a composer even more remarkable.
In 2011, Margaret Maria decided to change her career from her professional post as cellist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada to follow her dream of composing and producing her own music. Enchanten Productions proudly released Enchanten (2012) which received a 55′th Grammy Entry Nomination; Enchanten Rising (2013); her web- collaborative album Piancelle (2013) which received a 56’th Grammy Entry Nomination; and Enchantress released December 2014. She’s also works under the production label, Hard Music Design, releasing 3 albums in 2016 and 2017 for licensing in film and television. Working in the contemporary Classical, New Age, Instrumental, Cinematic, and Steampunk genres, Margaret Maria creates stunning new music with her phenomenal cello playing at the heart of it. Her 2 children’s albums, A Cello for Chelsea (2005) and Zara the Maggini (2006) were her first creative musical stories that incorporate her narration, musical compositions, and arrangements, into delightful performances that sparks the imagination of children and adults alike. Her 8th album, Carried By An Angel, a love story told through music is set to be released October 2017.
Born in Toronto, Margaret Maria began playing the cello at the age of twelve and was admitted to the University of Toronto to study with Daniel Domb when she was sixteen. Margaret received her Bachelor of Music in Performance in 1992 and continued, on full scholarship at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where she studied with David Soyer. She was also the recipient of three consecutive Canada Council Grants for study abroad. Following her graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1994 with an Artist Diploma, she immediately won a position with the Vancouver Symphony, and was a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra from 1999-2011.
She is sought after as a first class chamber musician and has performed at many internationally prestigious Chamber Festivals in North America and Europe, including: the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany, Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Le Domaine Forget in Quebec, the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound, Ontario, the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Ottawa’s newest Music and Beyond Festival, the Lanaudiere Festival, and the McGill Chamber Orchestra series.
Margaret Maria is currently scoring music for film and is a member of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada. She has had her music performed at the National Arts Centre and you can hear her music on CBC Radio 2, CBC Galaxie Spa Channel, on Soundcloud, and is available for licensing in music publishing libraries in Toronto and Los Angeles.
Margaret Maria is the co-creator of two new and exciting film scoring sounds: Rage Angel, with fellow screen composer Craig McConnell, who just finished scoring their first feature film ‘Til Death’ 2017 by Director Matt Eames, with their work released on albums for Hard Music Design, and Cinematic Steampunk, brave new sounds emanating from Los Angeles with fellow film composer John Massari, who are currently creating tracks for Varese-Sarabande and have signed with A-List Trailer Music for their first production album.
In 2016, Margaret Maria met her artistic twin soul, as she forged an extraordinary connection with the great Spanish surrealist painter, Angel Muriel. A mutual bond was formed, one that defies time and space, and they created ‘Art in Divine Harmony’ – a set of music and art videos found on Enchanten – Margaret Maria’s Youtube Channel – that show the inexplicable oneness between the art of Angel Muriel and the music of Margaret Maria. They plan to exhibit their work together in the near future in both Spain and Canada.
As a composer, Margaret Maria received a Canada Council Grant 2017 to create arias for the great Canadian soprano Donna Brown, with a premiere scheduled for October 2018 with the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra. She has also received an Ontario Arts Council Music Production Grant for her next album, Resounding Canadian Heroines, set to be released November 2017.
In 2012, Margaret Maria was a recipient of the Leading Women Building Communities Award by the Government of Ontario for her work in the Ottawa community, she is an Honorary Board Member of the OrKidstra’s Leading Note Foundation and is also recognized as a Kick Ass Canadian (www.kickasscanadians.ca)
Margaret Maria is very passionate about teaching and has given master classes in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. She has taught at the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, the National Arts Center’s Summer Music Institute, the Southern Ontario Suzuki Institute and currently teaches at the National Capital Suzuki School of Music. She has also, co-founded The Leading Note Foundation’s OrKidstra Youth Music Program in Ottawa (an El Sistema inspired program) in 2007 along with two of her musical colleagues, Tina Fedeski and Gary MacMillen, to bring musical opportunities to children who would otherwise be unable to participate. It has grown from 27 children to over 400 children singing and playing music together, with 94% learning at no cost, from professional teachers and on donated instruments.
“The heart of The Leading Note Foundation’s work in Ottawa is to share the passion of music with children, and in the process, create a transformation, not only in the children, but in their families, their community, and ultimately in a betterment of our collective future society.” Margaret Maria- OrKidstra Artistic Director Emeritus