Maria Grenfell (b. 1969) was born in Malaysia, and completed composition studies in Christchurch, New Zealand. She obtained a Masters degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and a Doctorate from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she was also a lecturer. Her teachers have included Stephen Hartke, Erica Muhl, James Hopkins and Morten Lauridsen, Joseph Schwantner and Samuel Adler. Maria Grenfell’s work takes much of its influence from poetic, literary and visual sources, and from non-Western music and literature. Her orchestral music has been commissioned, performed or recorded by all the major symphony orchestras in Australia and New Zealand. Her chamber music has been performed by musicians such as members of eighth blackbird, the Australia Ensemble, the Vienna Piano Trio, New Zealand Trio, ACO Collective, and numerous other ensembles. Her work is broadcast regularly in Australia and New Zealand, is released on ABC Classics, Kiwi-Pacific, and Trust CDs, and is available from the Australian Music Centre, SouNZ New Zealand Music Centre and Reed Music.
Maria served on the Board of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2018. She is involved in mentoring emerging composers through various composer development programs throughout Australia, and she has given guest lectures at the University of Houston and the University of Melbourne. In Spring 2013 she was Visiting Professor of Composition at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Maria lives in Hobart with her husband, guitarist David Malone, and their two children, where she is Head of the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Tasmania.