World-renowned Minnesota-born, New York-based boundary-defying composer and orchestra leader Maria Schneider has won two 2016 Grammy Awards. Schneider’s majestic 2015 recording The Thompson Fields earned the Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. Schneider also won a Grammy Award for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals for her work with David Bowie on the song, “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime),” making her one of the very few who have won Grammys for work in the classical, jazz and rock genres.
“To work so collaboratively with David Bowie on such a unique piece as Sue was one of the most thrilling things to ever happen to me musically. So to receive this Grammy is deeply meaningful,” says Schneider. “And The Thompson Fields is the most personal work that I've ever created with my own band. And I feel that the playing within my band has reached an extraordinary peak. For all of us to be recognized for that as well, is overwhelming.”
Schneider has won five Grammy Awards to date. Her album Winter Morning Walks received three “Classical” Grammy Awards in 2013 for 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).
Schneider also received a 2007-Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition for “Cerulean Skies.” In 2004, Schneider made history with her first Grammy for Concert In the Garden, the first album with Internet-only sales to receive a Grammy. The album was released through ArtistShare, the first Internet-crowd-funding label/site in existence. And significantly, Concert In the Garden was also the first “crowd-funded” album to win a Grammy, before the term “crowd-funding” was even invented. At that time, ArtistShare had labeled it “fan-funding.” Schneider has continued to “fan-fund” her recordings and commissions ever since.
Inspired by her success through ArtistShare where she maintains control and ownership of her work, Schneider has become a strong advocate for music creators and performers, having testified before the Congressional Subcommittee on Intellectual Property in April of 2014, and having also spoken out against Spotify and streaming in general, on CNN.