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B i o g r a p h y

A native of Romania, born in Brasov, Maria Rusu comes from a family of musicians. She began her musical studies at the age of six studying violin with her mother, Teodora Rusu and later on she switched to viola. Maria attended a music school for twelve years in Brasov before coming to the U.S. to continue her musical studies. She currently serves as Core Faculty at The Music School of Delaware (Wilmington, DE) working in the registrar's office, teaching violin, viola, jazz voice, as well as string coaching and being the assistant conductor of the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra. Maria is also a member of the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra and Newark Symphony Orchestra, playing in both the violin and viola sections. In January of 2017 she took over the leadership of Philadelphia Viola Society, creating a completely new website, organizing events, in person and online and connecting many violists in the community with several local artists and international guest artists as well.
Miss Rusu graduated from University of Delaware in Newark DE in 2017 with a Master of Music in Viola Performance studying with Sheila Browne and Dr. Esme Allen-Creighton. During her master’s degree, she conducted the University Strings, a non-music major strings ensemble. Maria was part of the UD Jazz Singers, and she also had the pleasure of being the vocalist for the UD Jazz Ensemble I and several jazz combos lead by Tom Palmer.
Miss Rusu received a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance from Bowling Green State University, College of Musical Arts in Bowling Green, Ohio in 2015 where she studied with Professor Matthew Daline -McBride. She has played in orchestras around Ohio and Michigan as principal violist and section viola, some of them being Lima Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Philharmonic, Adrian Symphony and Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra. Maria also had the opportunity to be a mentor for the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra during her senior year of college.
Miss Rusu had the honor to play in master classes for Ivo-Jan van Der Werff, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, Sheila Browne, Roberto Diaz, Karen Ritscher, Paul Laraia, Daniel Strba, Michael Larco, Anne Lanzilotti, and Christopher Luther.
In July of 2016 at the California Summer Music festival at Sonoma State University, Maria was selected to play in a masterclass for Ivo-Jan van Der Werff where she performed the third movement of Hindemith's Viola Sonata op. 11 no. 4.
During her studies at BGSU, Maria has been part of the Vocal Jazz Ensemble for three years, studying with Chris Buzzelli (guitarist) and Kim Nazarian (vocalist – New York Voices), and she has also participated in the annual New York Voices Jazz Camp every summer from 2013-2017.
As a jazz singer, Miss Rusu had the opportunity to record and sing in venues in Ohio, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. With a jazz quartet made of musicians from the National Music Festival, in 2015 Maria was invited to the radio station in Chestertown MD for an interview where she sang some jazz standards and premiered her jazz tune called "What if..." (written in 2014). She returned for another interview on June 16th, 2017 where she performed a few more jazz tunes with Brazilian guitarist Camilo Carrara. For more information about Maria and her performances, visit
Maria Rusu is involved in the tri-state area community  and since 2019 she joined Treinta y Tres, a Rueda de Casino Dance Team as both lead and a follower. Maria has joined this dance team in weekly practices and performances at different Spanish Heritage festivals in Wilmington, several community events in public schools and libraries, and other social dancing venues in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and recently in Atlanta, GA. For more details on their dance performances, classes and outreach please visit


Jazz Vocalist Bio

Nikki Fassold, Caterina Yetto, Maria Rusu, Elianna Wydra
WHYY Annual President's Dinner honoring Joe Biden, June 2017.

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