Maria Balbi was born into a family of musicians, in Lima, Peru. She began piano lessons at the age of three and violin at five. She attended the National Conservatory of Lyon in France, where she graduated with the Gold Medal in Violin. She later studied at the National Conservatory of Music in Paris with Jacques Ghestem, Alain Meunier and Christian Ivaldi, receiving first prizes in violin and chamber music. Afterwards she studied with Phillip Hirshorn and Viktor Liberman at the Hochschule von dem Kunsten in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and with Tibor Varga at the École des Archets in Sion, Switzerland.
As a soloist, she has played with the Orchestre d’Aubagne on a tour in France and with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon. She regularly performs in Europe, Asia and the United States, including music festivals, where she has played with the Amsterdam Chamber Music Ensemble, the Moscow Piano Quartet and the Gulbenkian Orchestra Soloists.
In addition to her activities as a classical violinist, Maria Balbi founded the fado group Trinados, with which she toured in Portugal, Morocco, Spain, Brazil and the United States of America. She is a member of the Moscow Piano Quartet and first violin of the Gulbenkian Orchestra since 1999.