Maria Wagner (she/her) has a varied career as a freelance performer and private instructor based in Portland, Maine. As a classically trained clarinetist, she has performed with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, the PORTopera Orchestra, the Maine State Ballet Orchestra, the Bowdoin International Music Festival Orchestra, and many more. In addition to orchestral performance, Maria specializes in the performance of new solo and chamber music and is passionate about interpreting brand new works. She has premiered pieces for the clarinet and bass clarinet at numerous new music festivals, including the Portland Conservatory of Music's Contemporary Music Festivals, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music's New Music Collective Concerts in Brooklyn, NY, and the Composer's Voice Concert Series in New York City. Currently, she plays in the neofolk chamber ensemble Forêt Endormie, and recorded on their 2020 full length album "Une voile déchirée."
Maria earned a Masters of Music in Performance from the University of Southern Maine, where she studied clarinet, bass clarinet, and pedagogy with Dr. Thomas Parchman. During that time she received the Bay Chamber Competition's Summer Music Woodwind Solo Prize for excellence in chamber music performance. Other influential teachers include New York clarinetist Jo-Ann Sternberg, oboist and chamber music coach Neil Boyer, and conductor Dr. Peter Martin.
Maria continues her study, now in classical and folk music from the Middle East including the Arabic art of taqsim (improvisation), maqamat (melodic modes), and iqa'at (rhythmic modes). Primary teachers include master Armenian oudist and clarinetist Malcolm Barsamian and Middle Eastern percussionist Eric LaPerna. Maria attends Simon Shaheen's world-renowned Arabic Music Retreats where she studies the nay flute intensely with Bassam Saba and ethnomusicologist Dr. Ali Jihad Racy. She was a founding member of the Portland-based chamber ensemble Zapion (2010 - 2020) in which she played folk, classical and art music from Turkish and Arabic traditions on clarinet and nay.
Maria maintains a vibrant private teaching studio online and in the greater Portland, ME area, and is on the applied music faculty at Bates College. Please visit the lessons page for more information on private and group instruction of clarinet and nay.