Maria Luhtanen was born in 1981 and started playing the French horn at the local music institute in Southern Ostrobothnia under Seppo Istukaissaari. She went on to study at the Sibelius Academy and the University of Music in Hannover, where her teachers were Erja Joukamo-Ampuja and Markus Maskuniitty. She later honed her skills under Esa Tapani. Luhtanen has a wide-ranging career, playing on a regular basis for several years now with such orchestras as the Turku Philharmonic, Kymi Sinfonietta, Finnish Radio Symphony, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and the orchestra of the Finnish National Opera. She is also involved in musicals at the Helsinki City Theatre. Luhtanen is a member of the brass quintet BrassQ.