“She now has become entrenched among the ranks of America’s leading composers….For Schneider, the question is no longer whether she can sustain the heights she has attained on earlier recordings; it is now how far her musical journey will take her.” – James Hale, DownBeatMaria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.” For the past 20 years Schneider has written primarily for her own jazz orchestra, yet during those years she was pushing boundaries, augmenting the standard 17-piece band with an accordion here, or flamenco cajon there, mixing in Brazilian rhythms and birdcalls with her Midwest sensibilities. In recent years she has definitively embraced more classical forms and orchestras, blending unique sounds in her own recordings that include commissions from Peter Sellars and Vienna’s Mozart Festival, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and the American Dance Festival.
Now Carnegie Hall will host the New York premiere of “Carlos Drummond de Andrade Stories” with Maria conducting Dawn Upshaw and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra on May 13, 2011. It was three years ago that Upshaw, then artistic partner with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, first brought forth the idea to have the orchestra commission Maria to write a work for voice and orchestra. Maria chose poetry by Brazilian poet, Carlos Drummond de Andrade Carlos, with English translations by Pulitzer prize-winning poet, Mark Strand. Continue reading