Eastman School of Music graduate Maria Schneider, Master of Music ’85, won a Grammy Award on Feb. 10 for Best Instrumental Composition. This is Schneider’s second Grammy.
In 2005, she won the award for Best Ensemble Album for “Concert in the Garden.” Schneider also had Grammy nominations for her debut recording “Evanescence” and her recordings “Coming About” and “Allgresse.” “Allgresse” was named as one of the Top 10 Recordings of 2000 by TIME and Billboard magazines.
Her 2008 Grammy was for her piece “Cerulean Skies,” the focus of her latest album, “Sky Blue.” The composition of that piece, as well as the album’s entire recording process, was documented on her Web site http://www.mariaschneider.com. The album was nominated for two Grammys. It was nominated in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble category, as well.
Since the album’s release, it has received numerous excellent reviews. Downbeat magazine said that Schneider “now has become entrenched among the ranks of America’s leading composers.”
The Eastman School of Music had other successes at the Grammys this year. The Ying Quartet, Eastman’s quartet-in-residence, was nominated for an award in the chamber music category. Professor of Lute Paul O’Dette was nominated for Best Opera Album. Eastman alumna Rene Fleming, Master of Music ’83, was nominated for Best Classical Album and Best Classical Vocal Performance.
Schneider and her group, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, are scheduled to perform in the Eastman Theatre on Jan. 23, 2009. The concert will be co-presented by the Eastman School and the School’s Institute for Music Leadership and the Rochester International Jazz Festival.
Schneier is a member of the class of 2011.