Critics have consistently praised her as a "magnificent violinist" with "breathtaking technique" and "a completely natural musicality," an artist who "listens to her inner self."
Ms. Cerar's repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the present and her stage experience, besides solo and chamber music, includes performances with live electronics as well as theater and dance productions.
Since her debut in the Zürich Tonhalle in 1991 she has played as a soloist with orchestras in Europe, and given recitals with distinguished artists on international tours, including concerts in Paris, Rome, Washington, Chicago, and New York. She has also performed at festivals such as the Davos "Young Artist in Concert," Gidon Kremer's Lockenhaus Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the ISCM World Music Days in Ljubljana, and the ICMC festival in Barcelona and in Singapore, the "Viva Vivaldi" festival in Mexcio City, and numerous others. Her collaborative works have been featured at the "Re:New Frontiers of Creativity" symposium celebrating the 250th anniversary of Columbia Universtiy, "LITSK" festival at Princeton University, and the SIGGRAPH 2007 multimedia conference/festival in San Diego. Since 2014 she has also created her own works, fostered by the Tribeca Film Institute's "Tribeca Hacks Festival" and by the Future Music Lab at the Atlantic Music Festival, involving robotics and wearable motion sensors.
Maja Cerar has premiered and recorded numerous works written for and dedicated to her. Ms. Cerar has worked with composers Sebastian Currier, Beat Furrer, György Kurtág, Alvin Lucier, Morton Subotnick, John Zorn, Jean-Baptiste Barriere, and Katharine Norman, as well as many emerging New York composers.
After her Matura from the Hohe Promenade Literary Gymnasium in Zürich (type B, Latin), Maja Cerar graduated with honors from the Zürich-Wintertur Conservatory where she studied under Aida Stucki-Piraccini and earned a Teaching Diploma (equivalent of BFA) "with distinction" and a Concert Diploma (equivalent of MFA) "with distinction." She also took master classes with Zakhar Bron, Franco Gulli, Igor Oistrakh, and Igor Ozim.
From 1995 to 2001 she polished her performance further, studying with Dorothy DeLay and Kurt Nikkanen in New York City. Concurrent with these studies and her continued performance career, she enrolled in the graduate program at Columbia University, where she earned her Master of Arts, Master of Philosophy, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Historical Musicology (dissertation on Schubert's late string quartets; Advisors Profs. Walter Frisch and Joseph Dubiel).
During her studies, Ms. Cerar received fellowships from Columbia University and scholarships from the Swiss Study Foundation, the Migros Foundation, the Swiss government, and was the recipient of other numerous grants and awards. She also gave master classes and coached chamber music at the Loca Musica Summer Program in Skofja Loka, Slovenia. She taught the course Masterpieces of Western Music and directed a German reading/study group for Art History graduate students at Columbia University, served on the editorial board of the journal Current Musicology, and worked as a research assistant for Professors Ian Bent, Walter Frisch, and Dorothea von Mücke.
She has taught musicology courses at Rutgers University, Fordham University, Brooklyn College (CUNY), and Columbia University, as well as interactive media performance courses at Brooklyn College. She currently teaches music performance at Columbia University.