Named a “one-woman dynamo” by The Boston Globe, Maria Finkelmeier is a percussion performer, educator, and active arts entrepreneur. She currently serves as the Director of Make Music Boston and Program Manager for the Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department at the New England Conservatory. Prior to rooting in New England, Maria spent three years as an artist in residence in Northern Sweden at the Piteå Institution for Music and Media.
Maria enjoys playing in various ensembles, bringing energy to any genre. In 2010, she co-founded Ensemble Evolution, a vibrant international percussion trio engaged in the composition and commission of new works, education, and creative use of technology. With the ensemble, she has given performances and masterclasses throughout Scandinavia, Australia, and the US. In 2013, Ensemble Evolution was featured at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, presenting their self-released album “Sounds from the Treetops.” Stemming from the treetops project, Maria co-founded Quartet Kalos, a Swedish-American group (clarinet, cello, clarinet, percussion) dedicated to self-composing and arranging new works and folk tunes for the unique ensemble.
As a nuanced interpreter of new music and sought after multidisciplinary collaborator, Maria has been featured at the Lithuanian Academy for Music and Theatre’s composition institute, The Process, performed with the Eastman Broadband Ensemble in Mexico, and commissioned to create works for Aaron Staebell's soloDRUMsolo project, Illuminus Boston, and the Outside the Box Festival. With colleague Robert Honstein, Maria is helping to cultivate the new music community in Boston by curating the times two concert series. As an orchestral percussionist, she has toured throughout Europe and Russia with the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic under the baton of Kristjan Järvi. She’s also taken her skills to the front of the ensemble as a soloist with the Lakota West Symphonic Winds at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in 2011.
Maria feels driven to share the percussive arts with eager individuals regardless of level or background. She was awarded a grant from the Golisano Foundation in Rochester, New York to create the class ‘Drummin’ at Dazzle’ for developmentally disabled and inner-city kids in 2009. The following year she was invited to be a guest artist at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China where she taught drum-set lessons and conducted the orchestra. Currently, she accompanies Adaptive Dance classes at Boston Ballet and is working on opening her own arts space, Kādence Arts Space.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Maria received a Bachelor of Music from The Ohio State University and a Master of Music from Eastman School of Music, where she was granted a Performer’s Certificate in recognition of her artistic achievements. Additionally, Maria’s commitment to arts entrepreneurship was nurtured during her studies, where she participated in the Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program. Maria has studied under and drawn inspiration from her teachers, Susan K. Powell, Joseph Krygier, John Beck, Michael Burritt and Anders Åstrand. She is a proud endorser of Grover Pro Percussion and Vic Firth.