Interviews & Features
Pittsburgh in the Round features an interview with Maria in their 2019 spring preview, where she talks about Resonance Works, their upcoming production of Bach's St. John Passion, what she loves about conducting, and more!
“We have found that [audiences] trust us to deliver meaningful performances whether it’s a fully staged opera, chamber music, or anything in between. In performing in a variety of venues and neighborhoods, we have seen two benefits–introducing people to new places and spaces in Pittsburgh, and also reaching new audiences in their own communities.”
“As a conductor, I make no sound. I am reliant on the talent and expression of the musicians around me, and what they bring to our music making in every moment. Unlike visual art, music has the temporal dimension, which cannot be captured in its complete essence, even in recordings. This is the bittersweet magic of being a musician and experiencing a live musical performance–literally feeling the fleeting vibrations in the room. There truly is nothing like it.
My job is to bring together and guide the collective work of my colleagues to create vibrations that become meaningful experiences–journeys through time and place, that tell stories, that elicit emotional, visceral, and intellectual responses. I can think of no more gratifying thing to do.”
May 2019 - Preview for American Serenade with composer Nancy Galbraith
March 2019 - Preview interview for Bach’s St. John Passion
December 2018 - Preview for A Joyous Sound with violinist Sandro Leal-Santiesteban
May 2018 - Preview for the Pittsburgh premiere of Dvorak’s Rusalka with soprano Rachele Schmiege & tenor Stefan Barner
March 2018 - Preview for little match girl passion with PSO principal flute Lorna McGhee
December 2017 - Preview for Amahl & the Night Visitors with young Liam McCarthy
October 2017 - Preview for Into the Fire/A Poet’s Love with mezzo-soprano Kara Cornell
May 2017 - Preview for Falstaff with director Stephanie Havey & tenor Joseph Gaines
Burgh Vivant feature
Profile of Maria in the Tribune Review
“I have watched her blossom from a warm, intelligent, kind, friendly and loyal young student to one of the prominent leaders in the Pittsburgh music scene,” says Nancy Galbraith, composition professor at CMU, with whom Sellner has been studying since high school. Galbraith is confident Sellner will have continued success.
Sharing that view is Grammy Award-winner Robert Page, who also taught Sellner at CMU.
“The greatest reward any teacher can have is observing the success of his students. She is so special,” says Page, University professor emeritus at CMU and former professor of music and director of choral activities there.
He also is the music director emeritus of The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.
He lauds Sellner as a respected opera conductor and “a thorough musician who inspires her musicians, bringing vision, incredible energy and tenacity to all that she does.” Her impressive launching of Resonance Works is an example of her entrepreneurial capabilities, he adds.