Praised as “a refined and elegant performer” by the Boston Musical Intelligencer, harpsichordist and organist Dr. Paula Maust performs extensively as a soloist and chamber musician across North America. She is a co-director of both Burning River Baroque and Musica Spira and is dedicated to edgy concert programming and lectures connecting baroque music to current social issues including the #MeToo movement, women’s empowerment, refugees, and climate change. This season’s projects include “The Ugly Virtuosa” and “A Mad, Burning Desire.” Other recent collaborations include performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Tempesta di Mare, the Washington Bach Consort, Modern Musick, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, Third Practice, the Folger Consort, and the Virginia Symphony.
Paula has been a faculty member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County since 2016 where she teaches harpsichord, organ, music theory, keyboard skills, and music history courses. She also teaches music theory and aural skills at the Johns Hopkins University. An advocate for conducting dramatic early modern works from the keyboard, she directed a program of baroque opera scenes in collaboration with UMBC’s Collegium Musicum and Opera Workshop and was the assistant music director for Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas and The Fairy-Queen with the Peabody Institute’s historical performance department. Upcoming opera projects include twenty-first century recreations of baroque operas that have not been performed since their premieres.
Paula recently completed a DMA in harpsichord at Peabody, where she was the recipient of the Dean’s DMA fellowship. Committed to both performance and scholarship, her primary research areas include the reception history of 17th-century female professional musicians and early modern society’s fascination with unconventional women. This fall presented “Turning the Madwoman Upside Down” at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society. Paula earned Master of Music degrees in harpsichord and organ from Peabody and the Cleveland Institute of Music, respectively, and she completed her Bachelor of Music degree in church music/organ at Valparaiso University. She studied with Adam Pearl, Webb Wiggins, Todd Wilson, and Lorraine Brugh.