Winner of the 2020 John Marson prize for outstanding musicianship, Maria McNamee is a current undergraduate scholar at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London.
Maria is an Irish harpist who began playing the harp aged nine, embracing both Irish folk and classical music. In 2011, Maria joined Chetham’s School of Music where she spent six years studying with Marie Leenhardt, Gabriella Dall’Olio and En Hudson.
In 2017 Maria moved to London to start her undergraduate degree in music performance. In her first year, Maria became an Irish Heritage award recipient and as a result she was invited to perform as a soloist at the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival. This led to further engagements, including playing at the Embassy of Ireland in London and for the Duke of Wellington at Lady Antonia Fraser’s book launch in Aspley house. Maria also performs regularly at the Queen’s House and the ORNC Chapel in London.
As an orchestral musician, Maria has gained invaluable experience from playing under the baton of world-renowned conductors such as Michael Seal, Paul Mann, Jac Van Steen, Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, Franz Anton Krager and Ilyich Rivas.
As a chamber musician, Maria’s septet won first prize in the Fiona Ord chamber music competition in 2017. Maria has taken part in masterclasses with the highly acclaimed harpists Fabrice Pierre, Marie Pierre Langlamet, Sylvain Blassel, Hugh Webb and Elizabeth Fontan-Binoche.