Maria Lord wearing a brown pea coat and plaid hat and scarf, with a pine tree and mountains in the background

B i o g r a p h y

Maria Lord-Kniveton (b. 1992) is a composer, bassoonist, and vocalist raised in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and currently based in Detroit. Maria's multicultural background has led her to study music in a variety of contexts, gaining a B.M. in Music Composition from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music (2014) and an M.A. in World Music from Dallas International University (2019). Her thesis explores stable and malleable properties of the Pouye song and dance genre talmou, which she studied during her collaborative residence in PNG from 2016-2017. As a composer, she seeks to create music that strikes a stimulating and intriguing balance between the long and proud tradition of western classical music and the new possibilities that arise from encountering other cultures, technological developments, and the increasingly adventurous performers of our time.


Maria has received commissions and requests for works from oboist Ola Panasik (2021), saxophonist Laurent Estoppey (2020), Palmer Episcopal Church Choir (2019), the Trans-Pacific Trio (2018), the Ukarumpa International High School Choir (2017), soprano Angela Hendryx (2016 and 2018), soprano Alicia Ucciferri (2015), and All Souls Anglican Church

(2015). Her first album, The Trans-Pacific Trio performs music of Maria Lord-Kniveton, released in 2022. She received the Josephine Halvorsen Memorial Composition Prize in 2013. Her composition teachers have included Dr. David M. Gordon, Dr. Shawn Okpebholo, and Dr. Piotr Grella-Możejko. Maria is a member of ASCAP, self-publishing her works through MaLoMaLo Press.


Maria studied bassoon with Robert Williams (former principal - Detroit Symphony Orchestra) and Dr. Jonathan Saylor (faculty at Wheaton College and member of the Camerata Chicago). She is an active member of the Trans-Pacific Trio (clarinet, bassoon, and piano) and the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra (compensated guest since 2018). She has also appeared as a guest with the Wheaton College Symphonic Band (2018-19 season) Metropolis Symphony Orchestra, Redford Symphony Orchestra, and the Wheaton Alumni Ensemble. She placed as runner-up in the Winds and Percussion division of the Wheaton College Concerto Competition in 2013. Whether performing as a soloist or with others, she always enjoys the challenge of exploring something new from the wonderful variety composers over the centuries have created for her instrument.