When Maria Baptist bowed for the first time at the end of a solo piano evening in the packed Leipzig opera house in her mid-twenties, it dawned on her that she had left behind her composition and piano student days at the Hanns Eisler university in Berlin for good.
She was a rising star, winner of multiple awards, with her first CD released. Hungry for the stage, curious for life—Paris, Berlin, New York, Havanna, and Ibiza were just some of her living quarters during this time.
Maria Baptist still asks herself why Michael Jackson chose her, winter of 2002. Behind the closed show window of a restaurant in central Berlin, she played Beethoven, jazz standards, and her own pieces for the King of Pop and his entourage.