One of the most recognized Russian continuo players, Maria Shabashova has cultivated a highly-diversified career that has taken her to some of Europe's most important festivals, concert halls, and opera houses. Making a spectacular accent on the baroque and classical music, she successfully performs as a soloist and as a basso continuist, playing on different keyboard instruments in various baroque, chamber, and symphony orchestras in and around Europe. She is acclaimed for combining consummate technique with a rare sensitivity and depth to her interpretations; “her improvisations are imaginative, poetic, lively” (M. Hinterhäuser, intendant of Salzburg Festival)
Since 2014 she is a permanent soloist and basso continuo player in Teodor Currentzis’s orchestra MusicAeterna (St. Petersburg, Russia). As a soloist of the orchestra she has participated in many famous festivals including the Golden Mask (Russia), Klara Festival (Belgium), Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), and Salzburg Festival (Austria), among others. Some projects worth highlighting include Rameau's The sound of light, Purcell's The Indian Queen, Mozart’s da Ponte Trilogy, and a Gala with Cecilia Bartoli. As a part of MusicAeterna, she has been featured in numerous radio and television recordings.
Her debut on the international opera stage took place at the Salzburg Festival in 2017 in a production Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito (MusicAeterna orchestra, musical director - Teodor Currentzis, staging director - Peter Sellars).
In 2019, she was once again invited to the Salzburg Festival where she performed as soloist and continuo player in Mozart’s Idomeneo with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra (musical director - Teodor Currentzis, staging director - Peter Sellars). Here she also played the obbligato fortepiano part in the famous aria Ch'io mi scordi di te KV 505 with soprano Paula Murrihy, which was well-received by the audience and critics alike.
In 2021, she performed Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Salzburg Festival (musical director - Teodor Currentzis, staging director - Romeo Castellucci).
From 2017 – 2021, Maria was engaged as harpsichordist and assistant to Andrea Marcon and Christopher Moulds at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow for productions of Alcina by Handel (staging director - Katie Mitchell) and Dido and Aeneas by Purcell (staging director - Vincent Huguet). During this time, she was also Korrepetitor at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.
Since 2022 she has cooperated with the conductor Marc Minkowski. Under his direction more than 24 performances of the Mozart's da Ponte Trilogy were performed at the Gran Teatro del Liceo und the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux.
Since 2018, she is a guest lecturer at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Some of her lectures include: thorough-bass in the operas of Mozart, thorough-bass in the operas of Handel, and the Große Generalbaß-Schule by Matthesons. In January 2020, she gave a series of master classes on improvisations in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at the Freiburg Theatre.
Born in Perm (USSR), Maria Shabashova began her musical training at the age of five. She later attended the F. Chopin Moscow State College studying under Irina Gabrielova (piano), then pursuing her studies under Olga Filippova (harpsichord), Jury Martunov (fortepiano) and Sergey Glavatskikh (piano) at the Moscow State P.I.Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In addition to her experience with historical keyboard instruments, she also acquired a wide range of knowledge in continuo performance practices receiving the qualification of soloist, ensemble artist, and university professor. Following this she continued her studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. She graduated with two masters degrees: in 2014 with a Masters of Arts in Specialized Music Performance (harpsichord) and in 2017 with a Masters of Arts in thoroughbass and ensemble conducting under professors Jörg-Andreas Bötticher (harpsichord, thoroughbass) and Andrea Marcon (ensemble conducting).