Learn More About Artist-in-Residence, Composer and Conductor Maria Schneider


GRAMMY Award-winning composer, conductor, and Mason Artist-in-Residence Maria Schneider conducts Northern Virginia’s own Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra for a jazz performance including some of her own original music on Saturday, April 16 at 8 p.m. at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University. The performance follows Schneider’s long-awaited in-person visit to the Center for the Arts and includes a special event open to the public as part of her residency: A Conversation about Respecting Artist Rights on April 14 at 4 p.m. on Mason’s Arlington campus. While in residence, Schneider will also host an open rehearsal and Q&A session for Mason Jazz students on April 15 at 3 p.m.

Maria Schneider joins Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra on April 16 at the Center for the Arts.
Maria Schneider joins Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra on April 16 at the Center for the Arts.

Schneider was originally scheduled to perform and be in residence in the spring of 2020. Although most of this engagement was rescheduled, she did participate in a virtual event as part of Mason Arts at Home. Two years after this digital involvement in the Mason Artist-in-Residence program and as a strong voice for music advocacy, Schneider returns in person with a stimulating conversation regarding artist rights, arts activism, and her boundary-pushing musical career. The April 14 conversation will be moderated by George Mason University’s Sandra Aistars, Antonin Scalia Law School Professor and Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic Director, and is co-hosted by Mason’s Center for Intellectual Property x Innovation Policy (C-IP²) and Arts Management Program.

Aistars expands on the importance of artist rights, stating, “Artists are developing a greater understanding that the digital world’s demands from artists can be heavy, and that they must appropriately protect themselves and their work including through law and public policy advocacy in order to find success. What an incredible honor to host Maria, who is such a powerful voice in this field. I hope that our attendees gain new insights that will give them a deeper appreciation for Maria’s music, as well as a more passionate respect for the arts and for artists.

Taking place on Mason’s Arlington campus in Van Metre Hall, the event will begin with a brief networking reception, followed by the featured conversation as well as a Q&A. The conversation provides a unique opportunity to hear from Schneider on topics including the complexity of her composition process, the blending of her art and activism, and insights for both musicians and music lovers to understand the significance of copyright protection to an artist’s work.

Jim Carroll, Artistic Director of Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra.
Jim Carroll, Artistic Director of Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra.

The April 16 performance at the Center for the Arts features Schneider guest conducting the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, founded by Artistic Director and saxophone virtuoso Jim Carroll. The performance will open with "We Love Being Here with You" featuring songstress Darden Purcell (Mason Director of Jazz Studies and Jazz Voice), followed by Schneider's original music including an instrumental excerpt from Winter Morning Walks. Opening the second half of the concert, Mason Jazz Ensemble has been invited to perform “Dance You Monster to My Soft Song,” an original composition by Schneider that she will also conduct.

“It is our great honor to have the opportunity to have Maria with us this spring,” adds Carroll. “Maria helps us all understand that through music we are all connected and a part of something bigger. Her music and activism teaches us all that the best form of protest is excellence. When the system has beaten me down, Maria’s music has picked me up and brought me back with her melody’s, unique harmonies, orchestrations, and amazing crescendos. I would suggest to everyone to let her music come into your heart and lift you up.”

For more information about the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra’s upcoming performance featuring Maria Schneider on April 16visit the the Center for the Arts website