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María Dueñas

María Dueñas' prowess as a violinist made her an international sensation before the age of 20. After several competition wins, one of which earned the loan of a Stradivarius violin, Dueñas was signed to the Deutsche Grammophon label in 2022 and issued her debut album there, Beethoven and Beyond, the following year. She is also a composer and chamber musician. María Dueñas Fernández was born on December 4, 2002, in Granada, Spain. Dueñas began musical lessons in Granada at age five, earning a scholarship from Juventudes Musicales Madrid in 2014 to study at the Carl Maria von Weber College of Music in Dresden. She then moved to Austria to study with Boris Kuschnir at the Music and Arts University of Vienna and the University of Graz. In 2016, her piano piece, Farewell, earned a prize at the Von fremden Ländern und Menschen Competition for Young Composers. The piece was recorded for a short film starring Dueñas and performed by Evgeny Sinaiski. She has also composed her own cadenzas for concertos by Mozart and Beethoven. Dueñas won the 2018 Vladimir Spivakov International Violin Competition, which brought with it a Riccardo Antoniazzi violin. Several successes followed, including winning the 2021 Getting to Carnegie Hall Competition and the Viktor Tretyakov International Violin Competition. Perhaps her most notable success also took place that year, when she won first prize and the audience prize at the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists. With the Menuhin Competition win, Dueñas was loaned a Stradivarius violin from the private collection of Jonathan Moulds. She also performs on a Nicolò Gagliano instrument from 1734 and the "Camposelice" Stradivarius from 1710. As a chamber musician, Dueñas has performed with pianist Itamar Golan, cellist Pablo Ferrández, and violinist Renaud Capuçon, among others. She has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the world, such as the Toronto, Detroit, and Pittsburgh Symphonies, the NDR Elbphilharmonie, and the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. She was named a BBC New Generation Artist for the 2021-2023 seasons and is the dedicatee of several works, including solo caprices by Jordi Cervelló and Gabriela Ortiz's Violin Concerto "Altar de Cuerda," which she premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel in May of 2022. That year, Dueñas signed an exclusive recording contract with the Deutsche Grammophon label and issued her debut there, Beethoven and Beyond, in 2023. Recorded live with Manfred Honeck and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the album features Beethoven's Violin Concerto with cadenzas written by Dueñas. Along with the concerto are works by Kreisler, Saint-Saëns, Spohr, Wieniawski, and Ysaÿe, as well as cadenzas written by those composers for the Beethoven concerto.
© Keith Finke /TiVo
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