Carmen Maria Cârneci, born 1957 in Romania, first studied composition and conducting in Bucharest and specialized in Freiburg on a DAAD scholarship as a student of Klaus Huber. She took part in conducting courses with Kurt Masur, Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, received scholarships (Italy, France, England) and conducting prizes (Austria, Germany). She has been invited both as a conductor and as a composer to several festivals for new music (Donaueschingen, Dresden, Heidelberg, Zurich, Saarbrücken, etc.). She was a guest conductor in Stuttgart (state opera, chamber theatre), also conducted in Milan (at the Piccola Scala), in Bonn (at the New Theater for Music) – where she also premiered her chamber opera Giacometti (1996) – and at the Paris Opéra Bastille. As a composer she has received important awards (in Mannheim, Rome, Cologne, Bucharest – a.o. the “George Enescu” Preis of the Romanian Academy) and commissions (from the Bonn Opera, Donauschinger Musiktage, Festival "Ensemblia"/ Mönchengladbach, Tage der Neue Musik Zürich, ensemble profectio freiburg, Orchester de Flutes Français , ensemble for new music zurich, London Schubert Players, Kitharalogos Association, Bucharest and others.
Several of her works have been selected and performed during the ISCM/World Music Days in Luxembourg, Zagreb, Hong Kong, Tongyeong, Beijin. She has lectured on compositional directions in Romanian music and on her own work at the international summer courses in Darmstadt, Steirischer Herbst, at the Kassel project “Female composers and their work. In focus: Romania”, also as a guest of the universities in Stockholm, Seoul and Oldeburg.
"Carmen Maria Cârneci (...) believes her music should be heard as 'shaping music', music in which continuity occurs through the merging - guided by an emotionally conditioned inner movement - of all parameters.(...) Others Characteristics: the triggering of thematic structures, working with processual, constantly re-forming rhythm and melody, virtuosity, preference for dense polyphony or partial heterophony, for the magic of rituals." (MGG, Corneliu Dan Georgescu).
In Bucharest she was a visiting professor at the National University of Music, the artistic director of the "International Week of New Music" (2005, 2006) and managing director of "Editura Muzicală". She currently coordinates the music programs of the National "George Enescu" Museum and the contemporary music ensemble "devotioModerna" (which she co-founded in 2005).
Her works are published by Ricordi Berlin, Furore-Verlag (Kassel) and Editura Muzicală (Bucharest).