MARIA SCHNEIDER ORCHESTRA ArtistsMaria 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, stretching from the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, Monterey Jazz Festival, The American Dance Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Peter Sellars’ New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna, Kronos Quartet, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Ojai Music Festival, to collaborating with David Bowie.
Schneider and her orchestra have a distinguished recording career with ten GRAMMY nominations and three GRAMMY awards, spanning both jazz and classical categories. 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. Her album, Concert in the Garden (2004) became historic as the first recording to win a GRAMMY with Internet-only sales, and through crowd funding. 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, and in 2014, ASCAP awarded her their esteemed Concert Music Award.
Schneider has become a strong voice for music advocacy and in 2014, testified before the US Congressional Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, about digital rights. She has also appeared in CNN, as well as quoted in numerous publications for her views on Spotify, Pandora, digital rights and music piracy. 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.