Maria Ralko was born in Leningrad. She graduated with distinction from the St Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire. From 1991 - 1993 she was a concert mistress at the “Polonia” Social and Educational Society of the Consulate-General. From 1993 – 1999 she was a concert mistress in conducting classes led by Professors Valery Uspensky and Stanislav Legkov. In 1997 she was a prize-winner and diploma-recipient at the Shores of Hope international competition (Bulgaria). She has been responsible for the musical preparation of works including Mozart’s
Requiem (under the baton of Ravil Martynov) and Shostakovich’s Thirteenth Symphony (under the batons of Mstislav Rostropovich and Yuri Temirkanov).
Since 1999 she has been a concert mistress at the Mariinsky Theatre. She has worked with stage directors including Andrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky (War and Peace), Marta Domingo (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Lev Dodin (The Demon, Théâtre du Châtelet), Mariusz Treliński (Madama Butterfly and Król Roger) and Carlus Padrissa (Les Troyens).
Since 2004 she has been a guest performer with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra. In this capacity she has been involved in performances of such works as Richard Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten, Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot and Gianni Schicchi, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Gustav Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Rodion Shchedrin’s Dead Souls, Arif Melikov’s The Legend of Love, Aram Khachaturian’s Spartacus, Leoš Janáček’s Věc Makropulos and Nikolai Karetnikov’s The Mystery of the Apostle Paul. Maria Ralko has worked with conductors including Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Justus Frantz, Gianandrea Noseda, Ernst van Tiel and Tugan Sokhiev. Together with the Mariinsky Theatre she has toured throughout Russia and to Great Britain, Israel, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, France, Japan, Korea, China and the USA.
In 2008 she made her debut at the Great Hall of the St Petersburg Academic Shostakovich Philharmonic in concerts held as part of an international choral festival, appearing as a soloist in performances of such works as Igor Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Georgy Sviridov’s Songs of Kursk by the Mariinsky Theatre Chorus under the baton of Andrei Petrenko.
In 2010 she was awarded the title of “Best Concert Mistress” at the Frédéric Chopin International Young Musicians’ Competition.
Festivals in Russia and abroad in which Maria Ralko regularly takes part include the Stars of the White Nights and the Easter Festival (Russia), the Summer Festival (Mikkeli, Finland) and the Gergiev Festival (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) among others.