Maria Sappho is a Puerto Rican American, originally from Brooklyn, NY currently working as an improviser, artist and researcher in the UK. She is a member of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra (GIO) and founding member of the Noisebringers ensemble (CH/UK). She is a winner of the BBC Radiophophonic Daphne Oram award (2021), Dewar awards (2018) and New Piano Stars Competition (2015). She has worked with a number of large ensembles; International Contemporary Ensemble (US), BBC Scottish symphony orchestra, Australian Art Orchestra, and the Instant Composers Pool (ND).
Currently Maria's work is deeply involved in experimental AI where she has an ongoing collaboration with the world's only multi-modal creative AI named Chimere.
Maria is a doctoral candidate at Huddersfield University, on the European Research Council project IRiMaS where she continues her work in advocating/platforming artists via her Feminist Free Improvisation Archive, (for women and non-binary artists), curating for Mopomoso TV (oldest running free improvisation series in the UK) and co-editing the monthly political arts magazine the Mass.
Maria was, not too long ago, a classical pianist, studying at Laguardia Highschool often known for it's representation in the 'Fame' movies. She then moved to the UK to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she gained both her Undergraduate (hon. first class) and Masters degree. She is now a PhD candidate at Huddersfield University under the ERC funded project IRiMaS .
Maria has won several awards including the Governors Recital Prize, the New Piano Stars competition, the Dewar Awards, and the BBC radiophonic Daphne Oram Awards.
Education and Awards
Maria recently completed her PhD at Huddersfield University under the ERC funded project IRiMaS (interactive research in music as sound) headed. Supervised by Michael Clarke, and Amanda Bayley. 'The Improvisers Cookbook' looked at tracking social processes in a global network of experimental improvised practices.
Maria is also in ongoing research around telematic music and digital music creation of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, alongside Raymond MacDonald, Tia DeNora, Robert Burke, and Ross Birrell.