Obituary: Madeline J. Williamson 1947-2022

Madeline passed away on December 28 after a long & fierce battle with cancer. She died at home with Birgitte and their dogs, in peace & beauty. 

Madeline & Birgitte fell in love with Abiquiu and bought their property on the  Chama in 2000. They built a house made for their extended pet family, the  enjoyment of birds & the beauty of the river, and for music performance. In  2008 the first season of the Abiquiu Chamber Music Festival opened and music continued to be played for twelve summers until Madeline’s last  diagnosis in 2019. In that period 7,000 people walked through the doors of  ACMF and enjoyed world class classical & contemporary music performances by both local, national and international performers – and joyously  accompanied by the birds of Abiquiu. Most patrons hailed from the local  community, but many came from afar, having heard of this extraordinary  festival located right on the Rio Chama. The impact of Madeline’s passion in  creating ACMF has had a lasting effect on the Abiquiu community. Thank you  to everyone who came! 

Madeline also was a successful & much beloved piano teacher. She was a  music professor at Arizona State University before coming to New Mexico and  opening the Los Alamos Piano Studio. Her excellence as a teacher, her impact  on young people, and her mentorship of generations of high school &  university students made a mark on many budding and subsequently  successful musicians. In the words of one student: “Madeline was bigger than than life, stronger than the Himalayan mountains, and warm like the everlasting  sun.” 

Madeline will be missed by many and her memory is lovingly cherished by Birgitte, Lannas & Rita – at home where she belonged. 

A memorial-recital will be held by and for friends, colleagues, and students at  Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Road, Los Alamos NM 87544 at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 4. All are welcome to attend.