“My music compositions stem from a strong belief in spirituality, human rights, equality, and social justice. In music composition I naturally pursue the development of sound worlds. When I compose, I hear sounds, or a word may come to mind, or I see a movement. This leads me to research and explore and work with musicians to discover the sound boundaries I am aiming to create. I am particularly concerned with timbres, acoustics, formants, and the process of collaboration with musicians and artists.”
Through an open process of creativity and collaboration, Maria Minguella’s compositions explore the boundaries of sound and music. Her work is wide-ranging, from chamber music and orchestral work to electro-acoustic pieces and installations.
Maria has performed live in several of her sound installation presentations, playing the cello, bass drum and gongs, as well as using her voice, in collaboration with artists in the media of theatre, poetry, sculpture, puppetry and audiovisual work. She is also a singing member of the Cork Contemporary Choir.
In addition to her own performances, Maria’s music has been performed in Ireland, Italy, the UK and the Czech Republic by a wide range of performers and ensembles.
Maria holds a Master's Degree in Music Composition from University College Cork (2010), studied under John Godfrey. Maria was commissioned by New Music Dublin 2019, and was was also selected for the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and Contemporary Music Ireland Composer’s Lab 2018. Her piece “Elgnairt” is included in the Contemporary Music Centre’s album new Ireland: new music third (2018). She was the winner of UCC’s Fuaim New String Quartet Composition Award (2014), and her piece “Dizziness: An Unexpected Event” enjoyed its world premiere performed by The Vanbrugh Quartet in March 2014 at Triskel Christchurch, Cork.
Maria’s music has also been performed by Clare MacCague, Adrian Mantu (RTÉ ConTempo Quartet), Alex Petcu (Crash Ensemble), Brian Dungan, William Dowdall, Deirdre O’Leary (Crash Ensemble), Caitríona Frost, Dermot Dunne, Patrick Barrett, Mo O'Connor, Paul Roe, Malachy Robinson (Crash Ensemble), Kian Geiselbrechtinger, Roisín Walters, Máire Carroll, The Oak Duo (Ireland), Earlsford Brass Quintet (RTÉ NSO Ireland), the Magnard Ensemble (UK), members of the Ostrava Banda (Czech Republic), and members of 15.19 Ensemble (Italy).
A member of the Irish Composer’s Collective (ICC) and the Association of Irish Composers (AIC), in 2015 Maria was awarded an Individual Artist’s Bursary by Cork City Council to focus on Orchestral and Choir compositions under the mentorship of Gráinne Mulvey. Also in 2015 she was awarded the first summer residency with the Contemporary Music Centre Ireland.
Maria has attended nine summer composition schools/retreats since 2010, studying with many national and international composers and professors, and has received support and recognition from The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon in the form of travel awards to participate at Darmstadt 49th International Summer Course (2018), Impuls Academy (2017), Aberystwyth Music Festival (2016) and Ostrava Days (2015).
Maria further holds a Diploma in Sound Therapy (2017) from the Colour of Sound Institute (UK), and a Deep Listening Practice Certificate (2018) from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY, U.S.A..
Maria Minguella has a strong professional background in social inclusion policy analysis and co-ordination, and she has been a leading force in setting the social inclusion agenda for Cork Music Education Partnership and the Cork Music Generation Programme, through, among other things, the publication of "Music as a Tool for Social Inclusion" (2009).
She has been a member of the Cork Music Generation Executive Committee and Steering Group for a number of years. This Social Inclusion model has become a national example and is influencing national policy on music education for children and youth. Maria has also co-ordinated, edited and published a number of research publications on social inclusion, and has guided and supported children and youth community music education organisations in developing social inclusion policies.