Los Alamos piano teacher Madeline J. Williamson named 2019 Teacher of the Year. Courtesy photo
Madeline J. Williamson, Los Alamos piano teacher, has been named the 2019 Teacher of the Year by the Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico (PTMNM).
She will receive the award at the organization’s state conference Nov. 8, during the banquet to be held at The Marriott Albuquerque, 2101 Louisiana Blvd NE starting at 5:30 p.m. Dr. Williamson is an outstanding piano teacher, an active member of the Los Alamos Piano Teachers (LAMT), of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and of its affiliate, Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico, serving on the Board of PMTNA, as well as Executive District Vice President.
She has regularly served as an adjudicator of state and regional piano competitions in New Mexico and elsewhere.
Bearing witness to Williamson’s successful piano teaching, no fewer than four piano students from her Los Alamos Piano Studio will be competing in the State Honors competition Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Albuquerque Academy. They are Lyla Lo, Sean Lo, Philippa Fung, and Julia Chen.
When she moved to New Mexico in 2004, Williamson brought with her a rich and distinguished background in music education and performance. Faculty artist and teacher of piano for 35 years at the School of Music at Arizona State University, she taught private piano, chamber music, collaborative piano, piano pedagogy, and piano-related courses from the undergraduate through the doctoral level. She mentored over 75 masters and doctoral pianists, now serving throughout the U.S. and abroad as university faculty and performing artists. Always an active performer, she has been a solo recitalist and collaborative artist in over 500 concerts throughout the US, Mexico, South America, the Middle East, and Europe. She founded and for many years performed with the new music/modern dance ensemble KRUSTA.
After her retirement from university teaching, Williamson wanted to spend time working with promising young student pianists and opened her studio here in Los Alamos. She also wanted to find a way to bring music, both the classics and contemporary works, to a small location that did not already have a rich musical life. She and her partner, Birgitte Ginge, visited Abiquiu and fell in love with the natural setting and the established community of painters and sculptors. Here, they thought, they might be able to offer chamber music concerts. So, by 2008, they had built Abiquiu House, a home and chamber music venue at the bend of the Chama River, and commenced their summer series, the Abiquiu Chamber Music Festival, which has brought outstanding performers and music to Abiquiu for 12 years.
In choosing Madeline Willamson for the Teacher of the Year Award, PMTNM is acknowledging the wealth of experience she brings to her teaching, her enthusiasm for and dedication to her young students in Los Alamos, and the unique contribution she has made to the culture and economy of Abiquiu with the Abiquiu Chamber Music Festival, enriching the lives of local residents and bringing musical tourists to her always sold-out Abiquiu concerts summer after summer.