Born in 1985 Maria Karakusheva quickly found her calling and began playing piano at the age of 5 with prof. Milena Kurteva. Thanks to great perseverance and total dedication, she won the first prize at the International Competition for Young Pianists UFAM in France when she was only 9 years old. Her debut concerts followed only two years later, both in Bulgaria and in Greece.
Her first solo concert was in Bulgaria Hall in 1997, when Maria was 12. The following year she was accepted with honors at the National Music School. She became one of the first students in the new class of prof. Ivan Drenikov, a graduate of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli.
Her next steps were also very successful – at 16 Maria became a laureate at the International music festival in Bellaria, Italy, and the next year she won the first prize at the International Competition for Pianists “Cold Cannes” and “Montigny le Bretonneux” in France. She also had a concert in the famous Parisian Salle Gaveau.
But this was by far not the only concert of the young pianist. As a schoolgirl Maria won the first place at a competition of the National Music School, where she had to play with an orchestra. She performed Liszt – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1, which she managed to study in less than a month. It’s not a surprise, when she graduated from NMS with distinction.
Maria Karakusheva proves that the key to success lies in committing fully to ones talents. She not only had the best score on the candidate student competition at the National Music Academy, she also became the first private student of Prof. Dr. Ilya Chernaev. This was the person, who had the most influence on her style and her development as a pianist.
Maria annually gives concerts, playing solo works and with an orchestra. Her repertoire includes works by Rameau, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Ravel, Debussy, Saint-Saens, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and others.
In 2010 she created the project Classic In The House, where she played together with a DJ producer, mixing classical music with house. Only two years later, Maria launched a new acoustic project called Classic In The Jazz, in which she performed interpretations of legendary works of the most prominent representatives of the two genres together with a jazz trio.
In 2014 followed the premiere of Grace On Air, a project in which contemporary rock and pop music sounds classical. On this project Maria worked with the famous Bulgarian opera singer Plamena Girginova. The next year was dedicated to her solo projects – the pianist showcased a new arrangement of Liszt – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 for piano and string quintet.
2016 is the year in which Maria Karakusheva works on her first studio album with original works for piano and orchestra, called The Little Pianist.