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Fiona Maxwell
Department Chair of Guitar; Guitar Faculty
At MIC for 38 years 7 months

Classical Guitar

Available For

MM, Southern Methodist University
BM, Southern Methodist University

Additional Studies / Recent Awards / Recordings

Diploma di Merito, Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena, Italy "Favorites", The Waller and Maxwell Guitar Duo (2018)

"Grand Popourri", Terz Guitar Duos of Giuliani and Mertz, The Waller and Maxwell Guitar Duo (2001)

Basic Teaching Philosophy or Special Music Interests/Specialties

I combine teaching the awareness of artistry, imagination, and performance practice concerns with strong technical development to develop the student's repertoire and performing experiences. I specialize in my own repertoire in early 19th century guitar with original and replica instruments and period techniques. I also play baroque guitar and renaissance lute.

Professional Affiliations & Activities

Coordinator of Guitar Studies, DePaul University School of Music, 1986-present
Guitar Faculty, Northwestern Music Academy 2009-present
Board Member, Chicago Classical Guitar Society

A few of my favorite things:
I can't pick one composer who is my favorite above all others. I perform and teach so many. But one who is special to me through my experience as a guitarist and as a member of choirs in my youth is Benjamin Britten. His Nocturnal, Op. 70 written for guitarist and lutenist, the late Julian Bream, is one of the greatest pieces ever written for the guitar. It is a Theme and Variations on the lute-song by John Dowland, Come Heavy Sleep. It is structured in reverse order, with the variations working toward the theme presented at the end. For the lute, the fantasies of John Dowland, especially the two built on chromatic themes-Farewell and Forlorne Hope, are my favorites.

What does music mean to you:
Music is such a direct form of communication, reaching and moving people at a basic level.

What do you love about playing your instrument:
The guitar is an intimate instrument with the articulation and tonal palette at one's fingertips. Holding the instrument and playing it is so rewarding. After 50 years of playing, it never gets old!