Maria Arrua, Violin
I’m a member of the ESO’s Second Violin section.
When did you begin to play your instrument?
I started playing at age 10. My two older siblings were already taking music lessons privately, and it was my turn to choose an instrument. My mother found a violinist performing on television and called me to watch it. It was love at first sight—and sound!
Where did you study your main instrument; with whom?
I started violin at the National Conservatory of Music in Paraguay, a brand new institution at the time. I stayed there until the end of high school and moved to the United States for college. I am currently finishing my Doctorate degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I studied with Nelson Lee and the Jupiter String Quartet.
When did you join ESO?
I joined ESO in 2017.
What other orchestras have you played with/do you play with now?
I have played with many groups in the area, including the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. I am currently a member of the Northwest Indiana Symphony and Concertmaster of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra.
What was your most memorable ESO performance?
One of my favorite experiences in Elgin was at the beginning of my first season, when we performed Beethoven Symphony No. 7. I had played that symphony before, but doing it in Elgin was extremely rewarding. I felt that every musician on stage was connected to each other and on fire! It was a blast. After the concert, I was walking to my car and a group from the audience shared with me that it was their first time coming to ESO and they were astonished!
What are some of your interests, and how are you passing the time?
As I mentioned before, I come from Paraguay, a small and beautiful country in South America. I get to go visit about once a year and love sharing about it with friends who otherwise might never hear about that wonderful place.