Biography

 

Maria Welna, an Australian concert pianist, concert organist, composer and soprano, has performed across a range of fine venues (concert halls and cathedrals) in Australia, Europe, USA. She has repeatedly played for many dignitaries and honourable guests for which she has received numerous commendations. In fact, one of her fondest memories is of an early performance for Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Perth, Western Australia in 1999.  Then state premier Dr Geoff Gallop and John Paul II were also recipients of one of Maria’s CD’s. As a recitalist, Maria’s artistic activity has appeared in a broad range of local, state, national and international newspapers/other media outlets with interviews, performances and compositions also broadcast on local, state and national radio (ABC Classic FM's 'Musica Viva Festival' coverage, 4MBS Classic FM, SBS and Bay FM). As a concert organist she has performed on many fine instruments ranging from the historical Baroque, Romantic through to symphonic. From a young age, she has accumulated a vast array of awards and achievements at state, national and international levels including several Australian piano competition wins. Additional successes include the set up of a recital series (Chopin and Friends), two CD’s, many other recordings, major performance projects and several years of musical directorship/performance positions in Krakow, Perth and Sydney. 

As both a concert pianist and concert organist, Maria is also a rare composer-performer (reminiscent of past eras) who has already exerted her influence as an inspirational proponent of creativity, performing practices and arts advocacy. She delivers extensive programmes spanning from the pre-Baroque through to late-Romantic and contemporary periods. She performs some of the world's most stunning and demanding 'virtuoso' works (with a focus on larger forms in addition to a selection of her own 'smaller' compositions) to great acclaim. Whilst encompassing such a broad solo repertoire across several musical eras, Maria is an international recitalist with a particular affinity for the works of the nineteenth-century virtuosos, the 'Golden Age' of pianism, its 'concert organ' counterpart and historically informed performance. Due to this affinity she regularly incorporates selected Romantic performing practices in her performances, and often performs in the original and idiomatic combination of a one-performer, but multiple-instrument recital format (mostly solo piano and organ). Maria's critically acclaimed/awarded compositions have been performed nationally and internationally (Europe, USA). The Cadenza in the style of Liszt (a recent performance project) was premiered in Sydney and presented in Europe. Parts of the Requiem for pipe organ and soprano (a concert work) have been premiered in Sydney venues. Maria is also widely involved in chamber music. She has premiered new and rare works, participated in collaborations/recording projects of song cycles (including but not limited to works by Liszt, Ravel, Bartok, Schoenberg), and transcribed orchestral settings in the style of historical concert virtuosos (for pipe organ and chamber instrumentation). 
Maria (b. 1988) grew up in Perth and is now based in Sydney. She has worked (as part of long-term studies, master-classes, festivals and other forms of collaboration) with a plethora of concert artists from the USA, Australia, Ukraine, Poland, Finland, Switzerland, Iceland and Germany. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance (with additional programs in pipe organ and voice) from the K. Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice, Poland. The degree culminated in a public recital and the presentation of a research thesis entitled "The genesis and development of the solo piano recital as exemplified by the practices of selected virtuoso pianists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (The Piano Recital - 'An Opera in 3 Acts')". She also completed a Master of Music Studies degree in performance (pipe organ) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Her expertise in performance practice has been disseminated through the presentation of guest lectures, lecture-recitals and papers (at prestigious international conferences in Europe, at national conferences and in tertiary institutions). Maria has completed performance practice fieldwork on historical keyboard instruments in Europe and Australia, with a particular focus on nineteenth-century developments. She is conducting piano and organ performance practice research on the phenomenon of the "'Concert Virtuoso' then and now - from Nineteenth-Century Virtuosity to Modernity" in particular relation to the performing practices of selected pianists and organists.

"This born performer has tackled many of the hardest ... works, composed neo-classical pieces"

" ... a chance to showcase this young woman's irrepressible style"

The Courier-Mail

"Maria plays the masters"

" ... virtuoso Maria Welna ... an enthralling journey through the works of some of the great masters of classical music ..."

" ... some of the world's most stunning repertoire"

"Gifted soprano and composer"

The Bayside Bulletin

"Maria is a ... concert pianist and pipe organist with an amazing talent"

"Piano perfection"

"Gifted soprano and composer"

The Redland Times

"She's the picture of confidence. Her hands glide over the keys with [a] speed and sureness that defy her young age. She makes it look so easy."

" ... seemingly-effortless performance"

The Chronicle-Telegram


Maria Welna, a young Australian concert pianist, pipe organist, singer, composer, writer, and Arts advocate (to name a few) always had a clear vision of what her future would be like.  read more

 

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