Meet Maria Schneider

The multi-Grammy™ award-winning And National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Master has been named Artistic Director of The Henry Mancini Institute.
Meet Maria Schneider

The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami is pleased to announce the appointment of 5-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist and 2019 NEA Jazz Master Maria Schneider as artistic director of the Frost School’s Henry Mancini Institute.  The announcement was made jointly by Dean Shelton G. Berg and Stephen James Guerra, Jr., managing director of The Henry Mancini Institute.

Ms. Schneider’s appointment will be a school-wide residency crossing and blending musical genres.    Maria, who attended the FSOM in 1983, is scheduled to be in residency for a week in the spring of 2019, the fall of 2019 and the spring of 2020.  To launch the association, a concert and V.I.P. reception is scheduled for April 5, 2019, details of which are forthcoming and will be announced on

In commenting Dean Shelton G. Berg stated: “I am thrilled to welcome Maria Schneider back to our Frost family as artistic director of the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.  This is truly a match made in music heaven.  Not only is Maria a multi-Grammy winner, NEA Master and one of the most celebrated composers of our time, she is also a trailblazing advocate for music industry rights and education.  We look forward to the brilliance she will bring to our school and students.”

Maria Schneider stated: “The Henry Mancini Institute offers a most powerful and rare opportunity to young musicians.  I am thrilled at the chance to help the Institute to create fertile ground to inspire young writers and players to think boldly, to search for the most expressive and create possibilities they can find, and to use this tremendous opportunity to discover potential and gather skills that they can build on for a lifetime.” 

“What an extraordinary opportunity for our HMI fellows!” stated Stephen James Guerra Jr., managing director of the Henry Mancini Institute.  “Her unparalleled understanding of music from many genres including Jazz, Latin American, and Contemporary Classical is a perfect fit for the mission and goals of HMI. Maria’s perspective on performance, composition, and career building will provide our students with extremely unique and enriching experiences that will better prepare them for their own professional endeavors.”


About Maria Schneider

Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.” She and her orchestra became widely known starting in 1994 when they released their first recording, Evanescence. There, Schneider began to develop her personal way of writing for what would become her 18-member collective, made up of many of the finest musicians in jazz today, tailoring her compositions to distinctly highlight the uniquely creative voices of the group. The Maria Schneider Orchestra has performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide. She herself has received numerous commissions and guest conducting invites, working with over 85 groups from over 30 countries.

Schneider’s music blurs the lines between genres, making her long list of commissioners quite varied, stretching from Jazz at Lincoln Center, to The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, to collaborating with David Bowie. She is among a small few to have received GRAMMYS in multiple genres, have received the award in both jazz and classical categories, as well as for her work with David Bowie.

Unique funding of projects has become a hallmark for Schneider through the trend-setting company, ArtistShare. Her album, Concert in the Garden (2004) became historic as the first recording to win a GRAMMY with Internet-only sales; even more significantly, it blazed the "crowd-funding" trail as ArtistShare’s first release. She’s been awarded many honors by the Jazz Journalists Association and DOWNBEAT and JAZZTIMES Critics and Readers Polls. In 2012, her alma mater, the University of Minnesota, presented Schneider with an honorary doctorate, and in 2014, ASCAP awarded her their esteemed Concert Music Award. 

Schneider has become a strong voice for music advocacy and in 2014, testified before the US Congressional Subcommittee on Intellectual Property about digital rights. Most recently, she and concerned colleagues in New York have launched a widespread campaign on behalf of music-makers,  


About the Frost School of Music’s Henry Mancini Institute

The Frost School of Music's Henry Mancini Institute’s mission is to nurture the future of music through multi-genre professional training for its students, and to impact the lives of others through inspiring community engagement programs. The Henry Mancini Institute is not a curriculum. It is a set of shared values among its aspiring artists who aim to improve the world through their music. The Henry Mancini Institute positively impacts and encourages these emerging artists by providing unique performance, composing and arranging opportunities offered only through the Frost School of Music. Newly appointed artistic director Maria Schneider, resident conductor Scott Flavin, managing director Stephen Guerra and renowned guest artists are infusing the Henry Mancini Institute with new energy, new leadership, and wide-ranging experiences that are broadening the musical landscape and incubating new artistic collaborations.

The Frost School of Music’s Henry Mancini Institute’s ensembles includes a full orchestra, a big band, and multiple smaller chamber ensembles.  All the HMI ensembles are comprised of musicians who play a multitude of musical styles, including classical, jazz, Latin, world music and others. They often work with artists and composers on the cutting edge of the music industry to create unique and contemporary blends of these genres.  

The HMI Orchestra is the resident orchestra for the popular Adrienne Arsht Center’s JazzRoots concert series and has been featured in many other stellar projects such as Ben Folds’ performance at the Frost School’s Festival Miami as well as performing the music of several films including Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spike Lee’s Films as well as music from the hit TV series, House of Cards. HMI ensembles have been featured on numerous television specials for PBS and HBO, notably Gloria Estefan: The Standards, Jazz and the Philharmonic, and An Evening with Dave Grusin. The HMI Big Band has appeared on major recordings, including George Benson’s Inspiration (a Tribute to Nat Cole).

Mancini Fellows bring their creative openness and sense of exploration to every HMI Orchestra performance. These experiences inform their musical expression upon graduation and help transition them into the music industry. HMI Fellows are a step ahead in the professional world leading them to success in the field of their choosing.