About this Artist
Winner of the 2021 Menuhin Competition and named Musical America's 'Artist of the Month' in September 2019, María Dueñas is making a spectacular impact on the classical music world as a soloist. Combining technique and sensitivity, the Daily Californian describes her as “an extremely impressive soloist who garnered the crowd’s attention from her first note” after her debut with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under Marek Janowski in the season 2019-20.
Dueñas came to public attention after winning the 1st Prize at the Zhuhai Mozart International Competition in China and at the Vladimir Spivakov International Competition in Russia, which led to subsequent inspiring projects with Maestro Spivakov. Other accolades and prizes include the 2021 Getting to Carnegie Competition, 1st Prize at the Yankelevitch International Competition, the Grand Prix at the 14th International G. P. Telemann Competition together with the special award to the best sonata performance, the 1st Prize at the Luigi Zanuccoli International Violin Competition in Italy and at the Leonid Kogan Competition or the Prinz von Hessen Award 2017 from the Kronberg Academy to the youngest violinist with the greatest development potential. The Spanish Broadcasting Corporation (RNE) awarded her the "Ojo Crítico 2020" prize, calling her a "Spanish ambassador of classical music in the international scene".
A student of the well-distinguished pedagogue Boris Kuschnir at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna and at the University of Music and Performing Arts of Graz, María has been supported by the "Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben". Her career received a decisive impulse after winning the Music Instruments Competition in Hamburg 2015 and enjoying a rare Niccolo Gagliano violin (17?4) ever since. Born in Granada, Spain (December 2002), María began her musical training at the age of five, moving to Germany to study at the Dresden College of Music after winning the "Juventudes Musicales" Competition and having been granted the Wardwell scholarship from the Humboldt Foundation, the AIE and the valuable support of Kolmer, a painting company in her native town.
Despite her youth, she has already performed in some of the major concert halls with leading orchestras, including her 15-year-old-debut at the Golden Hall in the Vienna Musikverein with the Bruno Walter Symphony, the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia under Vladimir Spivakov (a debut which was followed by a tour in Spain), the Berlin Philharmonie, the Galicia Symphony, the National Auditorium in Madrid with the Moscow Virtuosi, the Lahti Symphony under Dima Slobodeniouk and the Auditorium in Barcelona. Her appearance at the Elbphilharmonie Hall resulted in the CD release "So klingt die Zukunft," produced by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and the NDR.
World-leading Festivals have counted on Maria’s presence, including the International Festival "Arts Square" in St. Petersburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lech Festival, Colmar International Festival, rendering a homage to Maestro Claudio Abbado. The Verbier Festival Academy selected her as student-in-residence in 2017. Two years later, she returned to the Festival to make her recital debut with Ken Noda, whereby María was celebrated in Le Figaro as “the child prodigy, whose virtuosity and expressiveness enchanted the audience”.
Dueñas’ multifaceted interests range from performing to composing and chamber music. As a founding member of the Hamamelis Quartet, they hold collaborations with Jeunesses Musicales Wien since winning the Fidelio Chamber Music Competition in Vienna. In addition, her piano piece "Farewell" (2014) was awarded a prize at the “Robert Schumann Competition for Young Composers Von fremden Ländern und Menschen”, Germany. The composer Jordi Cervelló, inspired by Maria’s tone and musicality, has composed several pieces dedicated to her. Recently, she premiered his “Milstein Caprice”.
Highlights for the 2020-21 & 2021-22 season include her debuts with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester under the baton of Manfred Honeck, her debut with Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Michael Sanderling, her return to St. Petersburg under Vassily Sinaisky, the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, and the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra under Marek Janowski with the Beethoven Violin Concerto. In the summer of 2021, she will give a recital at the Rheingau Musik Festival and perform in the final concert, as well as perform with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra at the festival of the same name.
María Dueñas plays on the Niccolò Gagliano violin 17?4, kindly on loan from the "Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben" and on the Guarneri del Gesù “Muntz” 1736, on generous loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.