Since 2016, the Svapinga Consort has presented the Alte Musik in Schwabing concert series as well as numerous educational outreach programs in the Albert-Lempp Saal of the Kreuzkirche München-Schwabing. The series’s Musica Poetica concerts are organized in cooperation with the Historical Performance Institute of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München, and feature its talented students.
The ensemble is made up of a young and international group of musicians, alumni of select European music universities specialized in early music and historical performance practice. They are driven by a passion for diverse musical styles, profound artistic introspection, and interpretive consistency.
The ensemble is led by Sofya Gandilyan (keyboard instruments) and Maria Raffaele (oboe and recorder).
Maria Raffaele’s passion for music-making began at home with her family, singing and playing clarinet, piano, and later oboe in her hometown of Arlington, Virginia (USA). Her pursuit of advanced musical training took her to Carnegie Mellon University (USA), the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (CH), and the Jeune Orchestre de l’Abbaye aux Dames/Université de Poitiers (FR), where she obtained Bachelors and Masters degrees in modern and historical oboe performance. During her studies she benefited immensely from the teaching and mentoring of great musicians including Katharina Arfken, Antoine Torunczyk, Philippe Herreweghe, Sigiswald Kuijken, Alfredo Bernardini, und Lorenzo Coppola.
Maria has built a career bridging historical and modern oboe performance, playing regularly with renowned ensembles such as Insula Orchestra, Le Concert de la Loge, le Concert Spirituel, Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu, and Les Folies Françoises. A committed and enthusiastic chamber musician, in 2016 she founded the Munich-based period instrument ensemble Svapinga Consort with keyboardist Robert Selinger, which she directs to this day alongside her colleague keyboardist Sofya Gandilyan (since 2020).
Now based in the Paris suburbs, Maria teaches modern and historical oboe at the Conservatoire de Pontault-Combault. She also works a freelance translator, writer, and graphic designer for numerous music ensembles.