Maria Caswell, viola and violin, is a founding member of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Caswell studied violin at the New England Conservatory of Music in an era when she was forbidden by her teacher to play baroque violin! Nevertheless, she clandestinely studied with alternative early music types, opening up the world of music and musicianship that had attracted her since her high school recorder-playing days. Anthony Martin, another founding member of Philharmonia Baroque, recommended that Caswell (whose hometown is San Francisco) contact Laurette Goldberg at the time Goldberg was starting the Orchestra. For that recommendation, Caswell will be eternally grateful.
In addition to Philharmonia Baroque, Maria has performed with American Bach Soloists, Jubilate, Magnificat, and Santa Rosa Symphony, among others. She is a member of VOT (Very Old Time) Music, a quintet based in Sebastopol, California; plays violin/organ recitals with her brother, organist Matthew Walsh; and is an active violin and viola teacher. She lives near Occidental, Sonoma County, with her husband and three nearly grown children – as well as a cat, rabbits, and a goat.