Thursday, December 12, 2013


"Best Contemporary Classical Composition," "Best Classical Vocal Solo"
and "Best Engineered Album, Classical"

World-renowned Minnesota-born, New York-based composer/orchestra leader Maria Schneider's CD Winter Morning Walks featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw, has earned three 2014 Grammy nominations. Winter Morning Walks has been nominated in the categories of Best Contemporary Classical Composition (Winter Morning Walks), Best Classical Vocal Solo (Dawn Upshaw) and Best Engineered Album, Classical (David Frost, Brian Losch & Tim Martyn, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer).

Winter Morning Walks features two commissioned works composed and conducted by Schneider with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Australian Chamber Orchestra, and poetry by Ted Kooser and Carlos Drummond de Andrade (English translations by Mark Strand). Blurring the line between classical and jazz, Winter Morning Walks - released in March of 2013 through ArtistShare®  ( and available exclusively through - is one of the first-ever fan-funded CDs to feature major orchestras and be released without in-store distribution.

"It feels amazing to have accomplished all of this, again through ArtistShare's fan-funding. I know of no one else that has fan-funded such a large-scale classical recording. In times when long-standing arts organizations are going out of business left and right, you can be sure I'm thankful to the fans I found through ArtistShare.   ArtistShare has created the only fan-funding platform that allows me to share my world with my fans, as I go through the time-intensive, hair-raising process of writing music and make a recording such as this. And musically, what a thrill to have worked with Dawn, these two great orchestras, these world-class engineers and producer, and to connect them to three musicians from my world, Scott Robinson, Jay Anderson and Frank Kimbrough. Additionally, I loved this poetry so much, and to finally incorporate artful words with my music has been entirely inspiring. This has been a dream project."

Winter Morning Walks brings together two preeminent figures in jazz and classical music. Schneider, who is admired worldwide for her work with her stellar orchestra, has won two GRAMMY Awards and has been nominated for eight more. Writing for TIME Magazine, Terry Teachout said, "To call Schneider the most important woman in jazz is missing the point two ways. She's a major composer-period." Upshaw was deemed "one of the most consequential performers of our time" by the LA TIMES, and is a multiple GRAMMY winner, MacArthur Fellow and frequent performer at the Metropolitan Opera.

In 2004 Schneider pioneered the fan-funding model by becoming the first artist to sign with ArtistShare® to release Concert In The Garden, the first web-exclusive recording to win a GRAMMY.  She won a subsequent GRAMMY for her composition, "Cerulean Skies," on her acclaimed 2007 CD Sky Blue.

Schneider is currently working on her next CD to be recorded next August (2014). "I feel like I've been playing hooky on my band in the last few years while doing these orchestral projects, but now I have a renewed energy to write for my own group and finally record them after a too-long hiatus. It's high time."

Schneider's Grammy-nominated composition, "Winter Morning Walks," consists of nine songs and includes poetry by U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, Ted Kooser. The title is taken from his book of the same name. Three musicians long associated with Schneider's jazz orchestra, Jay Anderson (bass), Frank Kimbrough (piano), and Scott Robinson (alto clarinet + bass clarinet), seamlessly add colorful improvisation throughout these pieces.

The Grammy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, January 26th, 2014, in Los Angeles.

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