Maria began piano studies in her native Puerto Rico at the age of four. At the age of ten she made her debut with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. She received a Bachelor's of Music with Distinction in Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. Graduate studies followed at SUNY Stony Brook where she received a full merit scholarship and completed a Master's Degree in Music as well as Doctoral Studies. Her principal teachers have been Luz M. Hutchinson, Victor Rosenbaum and Gilbert Kalish.
An active chamber musician and soloist, Ms. Garcia has performed throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Norway, Canada, Israel, Venezuela, Tunisia, Colombia and Puerto Rico with groups like the Mark Morris Dance Company, her former Piano Trio Melànge, Bamberg String Quartet, Madawaska String Quartet, Musical Chairs Ensemble, and Poetica Musica. She has participated in international festivals such as the Bergen (Norway) Festival and the Casals (Puerto Rico) Festivals and has collaborated with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and many other international orchestras, and with artists such as soprano Christine Goerke, violinist Mayuko Kamio, and trombonist Joseph Alessi.
A passionate teacher and musical coach she has served on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division, the Lawrence Eisman Center for Preparatory Studies in Music at Queens College (CUNY), New Jersey City University, the 92nd Street Y School of Music, and the Stony Brook Summer Chamber Music Festival. Her students have gone on to higher studies at schools like the Boston Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, Princeton, and others. A recent transplant to Portland she is a sough after collaborator, coach and teacher. She performs locally with groups like Third Angle Ensemble, 45th Parallel and is part of the Award winning highly praised 20 Digitus Piano Duo with pianist Momoko Muramatsu. She runs a private teaching studio out her home in NE Portland, is a member of OMTA/MTNA and is piano program director at YMA during the summer.