La Cueva Del Piano

My name is Maria Cueva-Mendez. I am a pianist, but also I have studied anthropology and I am involved in the free software and environmental movements. My 'native' musical language is classical music, though I love to experiment with interdisciplinary artistic formats, improvisation, contemporary languages, and world music.


I graduated with the highest honors in Piano Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I also pursued two Master's degrees in piano and musicology thanks to the scholarships granted by the university. I was awarded the “Kate Neal Fellowship” which helped me to attend masterclasses at the École Normale "A. Cortot" in París and the "Foundation Bell'Arte" in Brussels. Afterward, I attended the doctoral seminars in ethnomusicology at the Universities of Rome, Palermo, and Naples, and those of the Master in Anthropology at the UAM in Madrid. I have studied jazz improvisation with Jacobo de Miguel and Chip Stevens. Particularly inspiring was the opportunity to take part in the piano masterclasses of Badura-Skoda, Josep Colom, Lazar Berman, harpsichord with Olivier Baumont, and composition with Guillermo Klein. Recently I have started to teach myself Supercollider, Pure Data, and Processing.


My music has been broadcast on the Spanish National Radio (RTVE Clásica and RTVE 3). My performances have been awarded by Juventudes Musicales de España and Juventudes Musicales de Madrid, and several American institutions. I work regularly as a soloist, as a chamber musician, and in symphony orchestras across Spain, France, Belgium, the United States, Portugal , and Italy. I am very interested in interdisciplinary projects (dance, film, literature, electronic music, improvisation) that explore alternative performance spaces. My performances at the Noche Blanca, Premios Princesa de Asturias and Oviedo's Contemporary Audiovisual Festival are relevant in that respect. I am inspired to bring music to new audiences and new spaces. I regularly collaborate and specifically design programs for musicians, like the Great War: Elegy for piano (version Marc Chagall) for the Guggenheim Museum. I also love artistic interventions in public spaces, as the one we did for the Peace Wave 2023 in Paraguas Square (Oviedo). I am a founding member of the free software collective Pica Pica Hacklab active since 2011. I contribute my recordings to the IMSLP public domain archive, and I exclusively use free software for my creative endeveaurs.


Alexander Technique, Taichi, Yoga, Chinese.