Classical Guitarist: Maria Olaya - 2/1
Lake Oswego Reads 2019 opens with the beautiful sounds of Maria Olaya’s classical guitar. Maria is a musician, music teacher, composer, and arranger. She draws her inspiration from the Andes Mountains in Colombia where she grew up.
City Hall Council Chambers, 380 A Ave., 6:30-7 pm
As a child, Olaya was captivated by the sound of a Spanish guitar. “I fell in love with a very beautiful, artsian, truly hard to play Spanish guitar before I was able to talk or walk,” she says.
She started formal studies in music in her last year of high school and had the good fortune to study with the late Colombian Maestro, Ramiro Isaza Mejía. "He opened doors of pure joy and magic for me,” Olaya says. "The guitar music I heard allowed me to imagine amazing worlds.”
Moving to the United States in hopes of deepening her musical path, she earned a Master’s degree in guitar performance at the University of Miami. After moving to Minneapolis, MN, where she performed and taught for many years, Olaya relocated to Corvallis, OR, where she operated a thriving guitar studio.
“For me, music has always been a means for genuine connection with others, a means to experience transcendence and connect with our humanness,” Olaya says.
Olaya has performed and taught around the world, including in Colombia, Germany, and throughout the United States. A frequent and active performer in the Pacific Northwest, she has played as the featured guitarist for the Portland Guitar Society, performed with Duende, a Brazilian music trio, played at the Northwest Handmade Instrument Show and performed with guitarist Peter Zisa and the choral ensemble Sing Portland.
Olaya has also been a guitar instructor at Portland Community College and the MacPhail Center for the Arts. She released a solo guitar album, Pertenencias, in 2008.
“For me, music has always been a means for genuine connection with others, a means to experience transcendence and connect to our humanness,” Maria says.