Daughter of distinguished Eastern European musicians, Maria was born in Milan, Italy, where she started studying piano with her mother at the age of six. After gaining her piano diploma cum laude from the renowned Verdi Conservatoire of Milan, under the guidance of Chiaralberta Pastorelli, she started her postgraduate studies with Klaus Schilde at the Musikhochschule in Munich and continued them in the UK with Sulamita Aronovsky at the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester) and Goldsmiths, University of London.
She has a wide performing experience both as a soloist and in chamber ensembles. Her repertoire ranges from the classical period to contemporary music. Maria has been a prize-winner in many national and international competitions, including J.S. Bach and Pierre Lantier.
Maria has received the Peake Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. As a researcher, she has focused on the teaching/learning practices and the culture of musical performance in a university context. Her study, 'Feeding back' in musical performance: exploring feedback practice in relation to students' and tutors' learning and teaching experience, was funded by the PALATINE Development Award scheme. She has participated in the large-scale, EU-funded research projected PRAISE, contributing to the development of a social timeline for musical performance students that facilitates online peer feedback.
Maria has been awarded a PhD from the University of Sheffield for her research on emic understandings of classical musical performance in a university context.
- BA (Milan) MA (Munich) MMus (London)
- PhD (Sheffield)
Maria’s research focuses on the culture of ‘classical’ musical performance – how it is created, transmitted and transformed – in the context of Higher Education, and explored through ethnographic research methods. Topics of particular interest to her are value and belief systems of the ‘performance community’; musical performance and the ‘hidden curriculum’; feeding back in musical performance.
Maria's eastern European musical heritage has led her to focus also on XIX and XX Russian composers. She has made a special study of the piano music of Schnittke and has appeared in recitals for the International Centre for Russian Music and the South Bank Centre. She has contributed to the book Seeking the soul: the music of Alfred Schnittke (published by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama) with her chapter ‘The Interpretation of Schnittke’s Piano Pieces: raising some questions’.
Other research interests include the study of the ‘evolving’ nature of performance style through recordings; the exploration of yoga techniques and principles that encourage a healthy physical approach to instrumental/vocal practice and performance; the use of software programmes for data management and as analytical tools in qualitative research.