Maria van Nieukerken (1975) is the artistic director and conductor of the professional chamber choir PA’dam and of the Philharmonic Choir Toonkunst Rotterdam and the Chamber Choir Toonkunst Rotterdam. Maria has organised the concert series ‘Bach in Monnickendam’ since 2004, where she performed many Cantatas, Masses and the Magnificat by Bach.
From 2001 to 2012 she was conductor and artistic leader of the Netherlands Student Chamber Choir with whom she performed contemporary music. Maria gave concerts in The Netherlands, France, England, Slovenia, Italy, Finland, Belgium, Germany and other countries with all kinds of music and ensembles. She is also working as a jury- member for national and international competitions for choirs and composers like Tonen2000 and The European Award for Choral Composers.
Next season Maria will be guest-conductor with Cappella Amsterdam in a ‘Carte Blanche’ program and she will be a workshop-leader at America Cantat in The Bahamas. She also will lead various masterclasses for singers and conductors. Maria provides various types of workshops for singers, choruses and conductors and she also has been giving trainings and workshops about leadership to companies and other institutions.
In recent years, Maria has focused on combining theatrical elements within regular concerts and now has a wide-ranging portfolio of direction and choreography, aiming at strengthening the bond between the music being performed and the performers and audience.
Maria worked together with such orchestras as Florilegium Musicum, Collegium Delft, Rijnmond Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Amstelveen Symphony Orchestra, Tilburg Festival Orchestra, Vaasa City Orchestra and many other incidental orchestras and instrumental ensembles.
In addition, Maria worked regularly as assistant conductor with the Collegium Vocale Gent, Cappella Amsterdam and the Deutsches Kammerchor, among others. In her capacity as assistant conductor, she worked closely with such conductors as Reinbert de Leeuw, Philippe Herreweghe, Zsolt Nagy, Stefan Asbury, Heinz Holliger and Marcus Creed.
Maria studied choral direction with Daniel Reuss at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. There she also studied piano with Marcel Baudet and Alexandre Hrisanide. She took lessons in choral and orchestral direction with Marcus Creed, Jos van Veldhoven, Paul van Nevel, Hans van den Hombergh and Mark Shapiro (NY). In 1999, she was admitted to the ‘Internationale Meisterkurs Chorleitung’ under the direction of Eric Ericson in Germany. In 2003, she took part in the master class of Uwe Gronostay and Hartmut Haenchen with the Netherlands Chamber Choir.