About Maria - Clarinet and Arabic Nay

Maria Wagner has a varied career as a performer and private instructor in Portland, Maine. As a classically trained clarinetist, she has performed with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, the PORTopera Orchestra, the Portland Ballet Orchestra, the Maine State Ballet Orchestra, the Portland Chamber Music Festival Orchestra, the Bowdoin International Music Festival Orchestra, and 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 the Portland Conservatory of Music's Contemporary Music Festivals and Noonday Concerts, the Frontiers of Music concert series in Brunswick, ME, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music's New Music Collective Concerts in Brooklyn, NY, and the Composer's Voice Concert Series in New York City.

Maria holds a Masters of Music in Performance from the University of Southern Maine, where she studied clarinet, bass clarinet, and e-flat clarinet and pedagogy with Dr. Thomas Parchman of the Portland Symphony Orchestra. She also completed her undergraduate study at USM and was a recipient of the Bay Chamber Competition's Summer Music Woodwind Solo Prize. Other influential teachers include New York clarinetist Jo-Ann Sternberg, oboist and chamber music coach Neil Boyer, and renowned conductor Dr. Peter Martin. 


Alongside her career as a classical musician, Maria studies classical and folk music from the Middle East including the art of taqsim (improvisation), maqamat (melodic modes), and iqa'at (rhythmic modes) with master Armenian oudist and clarinetist Malcolm Barsamian and Middle Eastern percussionist Eric LaPerna. Maria attended Simon Shaheen's world-renowned Arabic Music Retreat where she studied the Arabic nay flute intensely with ethnomusicologist Dr. Ali Jihad Racy of UCLA. She has performed with Okbari Middle Eastern Ensemble, and is a founding member of Zapion in which she plays clarinet and nay. Zapion plays folk, classical and art music from the Turkish and Arab traditions, as well as Iranian and Balkan music. For more information, visit zapion.org.

​Maria maintains a vibrant private teaching studio in the greater Portland, ME area. She is also on the applied music faculty at Bates College offering nay lessons as well as on faculty at the Portland Conservatory of Music. Please visit the lessons page for more information on individual and group instruction.