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Commended by the United States Congress for her work in the field of classical music composition and performance, Maria Newman (b. Los Angeles, CA, USA) is an award-winning composer, violinist, violist, pianist, conductor and pedagogue. As an Annenberg Foundation Composition Fellow, a Mary Pickford Library Composition Fellow, featured Concert Composer and Violin/Viola Soloist in such diverse venues as the United States Capitol Building in Washington D.C., Historic Hearst Castle, the Washington State Capitol Building Dome and Rotunda, Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia's Academy of Music, Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and the Music Scoring Stages of 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, MGM, Paramount and Universal Pictures, as well as in a wide variety of international settings, Newman has become a visible symbol in modern classical music, deriving her living from commissions and performances. Maria Newman’s extensive library of scintillating and highly discussed works represents a range of genres, from large-scale orchestral works, works for the ballet, chamber works, large choral works and vocal solo, song cycle and chamber works, to original collaborative musical scores for a large number of historic silent films.
Hailed by Fanfare Magazine in 2014 as, “genius,” and nominated for the International Grawemeyer Music Composition Award, and the Pulitzer Prize by NPR’s Jim Svejda, ("The Record Shelf Guide to the Classical Repertoire"), this on-air icon of musical opinion has hailed Maria Newman as, "Hugely musical, bewitching, profound and playful, with an instantly recognizable and unusually appealing musical personality, Maria Newman is one of the most charming and distinctive composers of her generation.”
Newman’s compositions enjoy an active musical life performed regularly by many of the world’s most fascinating musicians. The composer's original library has been commissioned and performed around the globe by such organizations and artists as the Annenberg Foundation, the Mary Pickford Foundation, the Mary Pickford Library, the Mary Pickford Institute, the Barak Ballet; New York Philharmonic Principal Violist Cynthia Phelps, Violinist Brian Lewis, Harlequin Productions, Cellist Andrew Shulman, Double Bassist Nico Abondolo, Northwest Flute Consort, A&F Productions, Conductor David Effron, the Brevard Center for the Arts Symphony Orchestra and Brass, Solisti New York, Harpist JoAnn Turovsky, National Choreographers Initiative, the Colburn Orchestra da Camera, the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony, the Olympia Chamber Orchestra, the University of Southern California Wind Ensemble, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) Houston, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, the New West Symphony, the Icicle Creek Chamber Orchestra, the Omaha Conservatory Symphony Orchestras at the University of Nebraska and Creighton University, the Britt Festival (Oregon), Malibu Civic Ballet, the Blue Heron Festival (Oregon), the Red Lodge Festival (Montana), the Omaha Cinema Orchestra, the Sierra Symphony Orchestra, the Cortes Festival Orchestra, the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, the St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra, the Azusa Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the Southern California Viola Choir of the American Viola Society, Pacific Serenades Los Angeles, the Central Washington University Symphony Orchestra, the Gold Coast Chamber Orchestra, the Santa Monica Symphony, Occidental-Caltech Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, Brigham Young University, the Luther College Chamber Symphony, the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra, Chamber Music Palisades, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society, the Ottawa Festival, the Dorian Chamber Orchestra, the Malibu Coast Chamber Ballet, the Museum of the Gilded Age at Ventfort Hall in Lenox (Massachusetts), the City of Malibu, the Malibu Coast Children's Choir, the Dorian Festival Orchestra, Songfest, Pepperdine’s Collegium Musicum, Yakima Symphony Master Chorale, the Los Angeles Jewish Music Commission, the Kairos Lyceum, the International Harp Congress, Daniel Pearl Concerts for World Peace (featured on National Network News), the International Flute Convention, the National Flute Convention, the Canadian National Flute Convention, University of Omaha at Lincoln, Martes Musicales Festival in Mexico City (Mexico), the World Cello Congress (Baltimore), the International Viola Congress, the International BrassFest, the Supreme Master Ching Hai National Association at the Shrine Auditorium Los Angeles, Malibu Coast Madrigals, Hackley School New York, Theatrum Elysium, SPaCE Salon (Los Angeles), Suncadia Presents, Trans-Nebraska Chamber Players, the Los Angeles Horn Quartet, Orchestra Omaha, WOW: The Wonder of Words Festival (Des Moines, IA), the Central Washington University Flute Choir, Salon on the Lake (Los Angeles), the San Luis Obispo Symphony, the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival: (work premiered inside the Hearst Castle Private Theatre and the historic Masonic Temple), California State University Long Beach Symphony Orchestra and Faculty Chamber Concerts, New Music Festival (Eugene Orgeon), Turner Classic Movies, Kairos Music Soirees, Colorado Chamber Players, the Malibu Coast Music Festival, Guemes Island Music Festival, Kairos Festival and Lyceum, Trio Fugu, Chamber Music FFF (Italia), Prague Piano Association, UCLA, Saxophonist Douglas Masek, Ivy Street Trio (Denver), Repertory Theatre of Iowa, Corvallis Festival (Oregon), Trumpeter Malcolm McNab, Mystique World Tour Orchestra, Tubist James Self, French hornist Brian Drake (Los Angeles Philharmonic), and many others.
Newman's popular and frequently performed set of Concerto Grossi have been performed and recorded by such esteemed artists as Cellist Andrew Shulman, Violist Paul Coletti, Violinist Brian Lewis, Double Bassist Nico Abondolo, Pianist Delores Stevens, Pianist Peter Longworth, Pianist Bryan Pezzone, Pianist Wendy Prober, Flutist Hal Ott, Flutist Sara Andon, Trio Fugu, Mezzo-soprano Nandani Maria Sinha, among others. Ms. Newman has recorded several of her own works in the featured solo position. Her prolific catalogue of complete works has been performed and recorded by world class artists including Soprano Diane Thueson Reich, the Kairos String Quartet, Colorado Chamber Players, Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer Randy Newman, Soprano Diana Tash, Soprano Maria Jette, Actor Charlton Heston, Violist Barbara Hamilton, Violinist Erik Peterson, Los Angeles Opera Tenor George Sterne, Violinist Denise Dillenbeck, Percussionist Mark Goodenberger, Harpist Allison Allport, Trio Fugu, and many more. Newman's recorded works have been released on the Montgomery Arts House Modern Masterworks label, Varese Sarabande, Bay Cities, among others, and are available worldwide. Newman's sheet music is published exclusively by Montgomery Arts House Press in Malibu, California. Maria Newman has been honored with numerous musical commendations and recognitions from the United States Congress, the Annenberg Foundation, the Mary Pickford Library, the California State Senate, the California State Assembly, the County of Los Angeles, the City of Malibu, and the Malibu Times Magazine periodical, and has appeared in subject spotlight articles by many of this nation’s most noted newspapers, magazines and online publications. She received the 2008 Malibu Music Award as “Classical Artist of the Year," she is a “Variety Composer Legend,” the “Composition Debut Award” (Newman is the only composer who has ever been honored) from the Los Angeles Young Musicians’ Foundation (YMF), the California Arts Commission, the Utah Performing Arts Tour, and has been honored by ASCAP and many other organizations. Newman’s works are featured regularly on international radio and television, as well as on Turner Broadcasting. Maria Newman has been a Featured Composer and Composer-in-Residence at major International Music Festivals including the Des Moines (WOW) Wonder of Words Festival (2012), the Brevard Center for the Arts (2004), Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival (1995-2004), Songfest (2003 & 2004), the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society (1995 & 2006), the Kairos Festival and Lyceum (2005-2007), the Azusa Pacific Grand Orchestra Festival (2000), the Malibu Coast Music Festival (2005-2011), the Gold Coast Chamber Music Festival (2000-2003), the Dorian Festival at Luther College (2003-present), the Old Pasadena Film Festival (2009 & 2010), the Malibu Film Society (2009 & 2010), Sundays Live at LACMA, the Malibu Celebration of Film Festival (2003), the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival at Hearst Castle (2013), Rancho Camulos Ramona Days Festival (2010 & 2011), Cinecon Festival Hollywood (2000), Guemes Island Chamber Music Festival Washington (2014), ROCO Houston (2014), Chamber Music Unbound (2009 & 2010), among others. She has served as long term Composer-in-Residence with the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra (2005-present), the Sierra Symphony Chamber Orchestra (2004-2012), the Eastern Sierra Symphony Festival Orchestra (summers), the Malibu Coast Children's Choir (2007-present), the Malibu Coast Madrigals (2007-present),, the Malibu Coast Chamber Ballet (2007-present), the Icicle Creek Festival Orchestra (2000-04), the Omaha Conservatory Festival Orchestra at the University of Nebraska and Creighton University (2009-2013), and the critically acclaimed Barak Ballet (2013), among many others.
Newman was born into one of the most famous and influential musical families in Hollywood. She is the youngest daughter of 9-time Academy Award-winning film composer, Alfred Newman (1900-1970), who was the celebrated conductor of the famed Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Maria Newman was educated at Yale University, (MM 1986; George Wellington Miles Scholar), and the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music (BM 1984; magna cum laude, Pi Kappa Lamda). Formal instrumental and harmony studies were with Joachim Chassman (violin), Robert Turner and Herbert Donaldson (piano), and William Kettering (conducting, theory and ear training) in Los Angeles. Studies in violin performance at the Eastman School for the Baccalaureate were with Peter Salaff and Donald Weilerstein. While completing the MM Degree at Yale, Newman's studies in composition were with Martin Bresnick, and Syoko Aki in violin performance. Chamber Music studies were with Jesse Levine, William Howard Schuman, Thomas Nyfenger and Aldo Parisot in chamber music. In 1984, Maria Newman was elected as a lifetime member of the American Academic Honor Society in Music, Pi Kappa Lambda.
Ms. Newman has collaborated as soloist in concert with actor Pierce Brosnan, Billy Crystal, Paul Reiser, Shelley Long, and Daniel Stern, Michael Crawford, and has had the great honor of performing her original works as soloist at the United States Capitol Building Complex on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., headlining a Special Event representing the highly debated Victim’s Rights Bill. In 2013, Newman was featured as commissioned composer and violinist in the Private HilltopTheatre inside Historic Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California, introduced by William Randolph Hearst III.
A bold and versatile performer, Newman’s compositions and performances of both her own highly regarded works, and works of the great masters, are consistently programmed in concert halls and heard regularly on radio broadcasts and television worldwide. In her role as violinist, violist and pianist, Maria Newman has concertized around the world as a soloist, recitalist, and as a member of the Malibu Coast String Quartet, the Coulston String Quartet and the Viklarbo Chamber Ensemble. As a concert soloist, Newman has premiered many new works for violin, as well as viola (including many of her own) in the United States’ and Europe’s most celebrated concert halls, and was the critically acclaimed viola soloist for the Grammy Award-winning album, Symphonic Hollywood, in a performance of Miklos Rozsa’s Viola Concerto with the Nuremberg Symphony. Newman was violin soloist in the critically acclaimed American Premiere performances of Rozsa's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.
A great admirer of sacred music and its historical place in the development of Western Music, Ms. Newman currently serves as Conductor and Music Director of the Westwood Master Choir, Madrigals and Chamber Orchestra at Westwood Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. She served as Director of Music and Conductor at Palisades Presbyterian Church from 2003 –2005, composing a body of liturgical music for that institution's sacred services that has now been performed around the globe in concert and recordings. Newman's Requiem for the Innocents, (commissioned by the St. Matthew's Chamber Orchestra), a 72-minute large-scale choral/orchestral work, was premiered at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, and her, Te Deum, another large-scale choral work, was premiered by the Yakima Symphony Chorus in Washington State. Newman's ongoing, Sacred Vespers, concert series at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church in Malibu, and at the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture (MAHMA), utilize her original sacred compositions on a regular basis.
As Composer-in-Residence at the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture (MAHMA), a modern craftsman venue in Malibu, California, designed by Eric Lloyd Wright of the Frank Lloyd Wright family of architects, Newman participates in dozens of concerts annually in this venue alone, collaborating with many of the world’s most celebrated musicians, architects and speakers. In addition, Newman tours frequently as a featured composer, performer, conductor, lecturer and master teacher.
Ms. Newman holds the Louis and Annette Kaufman Composition Chair, and the Joachim Chassman Violin Chair at the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture (MAHMA) and the Malibu Friends of Music in Malibu, California. MAHMA serves as the venue for the highly noted Malibu Friends of Music, a not-for-profit arts organization. Maria Newman is the mother of five children: Martha (19), Isabella (16), Samuel (15), Noah (10) and Joaquin (7).
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