María Guinand is a choral conductor, university professor and leader of many choral projects, both nationally and internationally. Frequently invited as conductor and teacher to different events and concerts in the U.S.A, Europe, Asia and Latin America, she has specialized in Latin-American choral music of the 20th and 21st centuries. She has obtained the 'Kulturpreis' (1998) of the InterNationes Foundation, the Robert Edler Preis für Chormusik (2000) and the Helmuth Rilling Preis (2009).
She graduated from Bristol University (England) and studied choral conducting with Alberto Grau. She furthered her conducting and musical education with Helmuth Rilling, Luigi Agustoni and Johannes B. Goeschl.
At present, she conducts the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, a group that has toured extensively and recorded many times. She founded the Cantoría Alberto Grau and the Orfeón Universitario Simón Bolívar, both highly recognized ensembles and winners of several prizes in international competitions. Always interested in new choral music, she has either participated or conducted in projects such as performances and recordings for the labels Deutsche Grammopho, Hanssler and Nonesuch of Osvaldo Golijov´s ‘Pasión según San Marcos’ and John Adam's ‘A Flowering Tree'
She has been Associated Conductor and Advisor of Choral Symphonic Performances and Activites of El Sistema (FESNOJIV) for more than 30 years. She teaches in the Master's Program for Choral Conductors at the University Simón Bolívar where she has worked as professor and conductor for 28 years.
As a choral promoter, she is the Artistic Director of the Schola Cantorum of Venezuela Foundation, and contributes to the permanent development of choral centers for children and youth of low economic resources in Venezuela and other Latin American countries in the Project Voces Latinas a Coro, sponsored by the Andean Corporation Bank. She also founded the “Academia Bach de Venezuela” in close relationship with the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart and the “Academia Nacional de Canto Gregoriano.” As conductor of the Polar Foundation Choir, she has actively contributed to the development of choral music in private enterpirses. She served for 12 years as Latin American Vice-President of the IFCM. She is editor of the "Musica de Latinoamerica" series by Earthsongs Editions.