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Our Concertmaster

Presenting Maria van der Sloot

Maria van der Sloot was appointed Concertmaster of the Calgary Civic Symphony in 2020. Born in Medicine Hat, Alberta, she has been a grand prizewinner in chamber music at the Canadian Music Competition and a finalist in the National Music Festival, and she has appeared as soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic and National Arts Centre Orchestra.

She received her B.Music degree from the New England Conservatory and her M.Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; her primary mentors included Donald Weilerstein, Ian Swensen, and Cordula Merks. In 2019, she joined the Calgary Philharmonic as a member of the first violin section. 

Maria has additionally performed throughout North America as a chamber musician, including performances for Music for Food, NPR’s From the Top, the Boston Symphony Prelude series, the Virginia Arts Festival, the Calgary Philharmonic Emerging Artists series, and the Berkeley Piano Club. She is currently on faculty at the Calgary Music Academy, the Valhalla Summer School of Music, and El Sistema Calgary.

Who are your favourite composers?

If I think about it too long, I can’t choose. Off the top of my head, Mozart, Ravel, Mahler, Bach, and Shostakovich. But then there’s Prokofiev, and Beethoven, and Bartok, and Schubert, and aaagggghhh -

What does your practice routine look like?

Lots of slow work, often with a drone, then scales, solo Bach, and whatever repertoire I’m working on. My dog usually listens and flinches when he doesn’t like my intonation. 

What kinds of music do you listen to when you’re “off-duty?” What’s currently on rotation?

It depends on what I’m doing - I enjoy most genres, and exploring new music is one of my favourite ways to spend time. That said, there is a special place in my heart for Fleetwood Mac and for Prince.

How do you prepare for a concert? Any “pre-game” rituals?

I like to arrive early and well-hydrated!

How old were you when you started playing? 

I started when I was six years old.

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The Calgary Civic Symphony is the performing entity of the Orchestra Society of Calgary. Registered Society in Alberta, CRA # 88754 6661 RR0001 


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