She is known mainly as a jazz composer and bandleader but she walked away with the Grammy in the category “Best Contemporary Classical Composition.” Her name is Maria Schneider and she hails from Minnesota. And she is not to be confused with the actress of the same name who was Marlon Brando’s love interest in “Last Tango in Paris.”
Is Maria Schneider a “classical” composer? Perhaps the genre titles don’t mean much. There is good music and there is bad music. Maria Schneider has spent most of her life in jazz and in jazz ensembles but she composes music that is ambitious and complex. And it is often beautiful and exciting. Anyone interested in music of quality ought to be interested in hearing what Maria Schneider has to say.
Paul E. Robinson