The Spanish violinist María Dueñas enchants her audience with the breathtaking variety of colours she elicits from her instrument. Her technical ability, artistic maturity and bold interpretations inspire rave reviews, captivate competition juries and earn her invitations to perform with many of the world’s best orchestras and conductors.
María Dueñas has been studying for several years with the world-famous Professor Boris Kuschnir at the Music and Arts Private University of the City of Vienna.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung praised her playing as “unreservedly and delightfully individual”, while The Strad described her meteoric rise as “seemingly unstoppable” after winning a string of international violin competitions (including the 2021 Grand Prix at the Viktor Tretyakov International Violin Competition, the Getting to Carnegie Hall Competition and the 2018 Vladimir Spivakov International Violin Competition). This string of triumphs included her livestreamed victory at the Menuhin Violin Competition 2021, where she not only won first prize and the audience prize, but also a worldwide online fan base and a Stradivarius from its ‘golden period’ on loan from the private collection of Jonathan Moulds. The Rheingau Music Festival awarded her the sponsorship prize and BBC Radio 3 named her a “New Generation Artist 2021-23”.
María Dueñas has had an exclusive contract with the legendary Deutsche Grammophon since September 2022 and will release her debut album there, which she recorded live with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under Manfred Honeck in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein. The album centres on Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the violinist’s own cadenzas.
Last season she made her debuts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Oslo Philharmonic under Manfred Honeck, the San Francisco Symphony and the Dresden Philharmonic under Marek Janowski, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg under Gustavo Gimeno, the Staatskapelle Berlin under Alain Altinoglu, the Orchestre de Paris and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich with Paavo Järvi, the Lithuanian National Orchestra and Charles Dutoit, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Michael Sanderling, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and Dima Slobodeniouk, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Domingo Hindoyan, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Alondra de la Parra, the BBC Scottish Symphony and Kevin Edusei and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, to name but a few.
As the dedicatee of Gabriela Ortiz’s violin concerto “Altar de Cuerda” (2022), María Dueñas caused an international sensation at the world premiere in the Walt Disney Concert Hall with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. This was the beginning of a fruitful artistic collaboration that also triggered electrifying musical moments at the 100th anniversary of the Hollywood Bowl. Praised by the New York Times as “utterly captivating”, the work was enthusiastically admired at sold-out performances at Carnegie Hall, in Boston and at the Cervantino Festival in Mexico.
The versatile musician discovered her love of composing when she began writing cadenzas for Mozart’s violin concertos. Her piece “Farewell” for solo piano won a prize at the 2016 youth composition competition “Von fremden Ländern und Menschen”. It was recorded by pianist Evgeny Sinaiski and made into a music video during the pandemic.
As a dedicated chamber musician, María Dueñas has performed with baritone Matthias Goerne and pianist Itamar Golan, among others. She has also premiered several works, including the sonata by Julian Gargiulo and the solo caprices dedicated to her by the late Catalan composer Jordi Cervelló.
María Dueñas was born in Granada in 2002 and, after winning a scholarship from Juventudes Musicales Madrid, moved to Dresden in 2014 to study at the Carl Maria von Weber University of Music. Since 2016, she has been studying with the renowned violin teacher Boris Kuschnir at the Music and Arts Private University of the City of Vienna.
Current highlights of the 2022-2023 season include a tour with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Gustavo Gimeno with concerts at the Ottawa National Arts Centre, Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Chicago and Carnegie Hall in New York, further engagements in North America with Richmond Symphony under Valentina Peleggi, with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Jader Bignamini and a friendly reunion with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck, as well as her return to the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra under Alan Gilbert and to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra for concerts at the Wiener Konzerthaus with Kian Soltani and Patrick Hahn. Chamber music projects have taken her to Japan for a tour with Pablo Ferrández, Suyoen Kim and Akira Eguchi, to the legendary Wigmore Hall in London with Julien Quentin and to the La Grange au Lac Festival with Renaud Capuçon.
As a scholarship holder of the German Foundation for Musical Life, María Dueñas plays the violin by Nicolò Gagliano (17?4), as well as the Stradivarius “Camposelice” (1710), a generous loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.