Melinda Maxwell – Oboe

“Maxwell was in excellent form, sheerly beautiful throughout…..and so alive as to make one hold one’s breath for every little happening”  The Times

“A sparkling performance from the soloist Melinda Maxwell who played with a flexible soft tone and unusually precise phrasing”  Die Presse, Vienna

Melinda Maxwell read music at York University and studied in Germany with Ingo Goritzki and Helmut Winschermann. She has performed as a soloist at many festivals including Edinburgh and Aldeburgh and abroad at the Holland and Aarhus Festivals. She has given many recitals and is frequently heard on BBC Radio 3. Over the years several works have now been written especially for Melinda, including by Simon Bainbridge Music for Mel and Nora, Sir Harrison Birtwistle Pulse Sampler and 26 Orpheus Elegies, Simon Holt Banshee and Sphinx, Nicholas Maw Little Concert . Melinda is also an accomplished composer, among her pieces are Pibroch for solo oboe, various ensemble pieces with strings and a new work for double reed ensemble Crane Dance for the RNCM Woodwind Day in October 2008. Melinda’s most recent solo CD Melinda Maxwell in Manchester: Music for Oboe from the RNCM was released on Dutton Recordings and was CD of the month for BBC Music magazine. Her latest solo CD will feature the first recording for Oboe Classics of Birtwistle’s 26 Orpheus Elegies and his arrangement of Three Bach Arias to be released in 2009.

In addition to her work as a chamber musician and recitalist, she is principal oboe of Endymion and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and also performs regularly as principal with the London Sinfonietta, the Hilliard Ensemble and for film sessions with the London Metropolitan Orchestra. She has taught at the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College London and has been giving master-classes at the Dartington International Summer School since 1992. She also coaches at the Britten-Pears and NYO summer courses. She is Consultant in Woodwind Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

In 2007 Melinda went to Uganda as part of a four person London Sinfonietta team to discover the sounds of ancient rock gongs on the island of Lolui in Lake Victoria. The composer Nigel Osbourne who also took part  wrote a new solo work for her and her two colleagues and five Ugandan musicians, which was premiered at the opening of the new King’s Place Concert Hall in London October 2008.