“Maya has the unique talent to find a deeper meaning in music, and express it with a strong emotional performance. This performance is always an act of magic. Her passion for new music is an outstanding investment for the future development of the instrument.”
MAXIM SHALYGIN, CONDUCTOR
Musician, medium, priestess. For Maya Fridman (1989), these words mean virtually the same thing. Music is magic, she believes. And as a performer, she enjoys taking her audience to that other, magical world. This is how she turns each concert into an almost religious ritual.
Upon reflection, there are two Mayas. The classical Maya studied cello in Russia and the Netherlands. She won the Dutch Classical Talent Award in 2019, a reliable measure of musical mastery. Here was a cellist who had more up her sleeve than the conventional repertoire. She was offered a residency at the Utrecht concert hall TivoliVredenburg. The Gaudeamus and November Music festivals also gave her free rein. She played the cello and sang, mumbled and screamed, lit candles and evoked scents.
And gradually, a second Maya emerged: the alternative. She writes her own lyrics and music as a singer-songwriter. In 2023, her first alternative album, The Power of Indifference, was released on her home label TRTPK. Listen to how she wanders through far-flung musical regions, from electronic to gothic and pop. Listen to how she whispers lyrics like in a fever dream. Ask her to describe that alternative world, and she says: ‘dark…’
But she doesn’t turn her back on the real world. For example, she enjoys working with other artists. This could be a composer like Jan-Peter de Graaff, whose cello concerto The Forest in April she premiered. Or Tomoko Mukaiyama, the piano fashionista. Or LudoWic, an audiovisual wizard.
And sometimes the world violently intrudes into her life. After the Russian attack on Ukraine, she organized benefit concerts. She founded the TRIDA foundation, to help artists in need. In addition, there is a Maya Fridman Foundation, for adventurous, multidisciplinary projects. And then she is also working on a dissertation. Subject: the ritualization of concert practice. Because everything converges with Maya Fridman. Musician, medium, priestess.