Fiona Maddocks

Fiona Maddocks was born in London and educated at Cambridge University (where she studied English Literature) and at the Royal College of Music. She is one of the UK’s leading writers and commentators on classical music, and for the past decade has been chief music critic for The Observer, the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper.

She founded BBC Music, and as editor established it as the world’s biggest selling classical music magazine and recipient of many awards. Fiona has worked for numerous publications as a feature writer, including The Independent, The Times, The Guardian and London Evening Standard, and has also worked extensively as a producer and presenter in radio and television. Her books include Music for Life, Harrison Birtwistle: Wild Tracks, and an acclaimed biography of the medieval composer Hildegard of Bingen (Hildegard of Bingen: The Woman of Her Age), now in its fifth reprint (all published by Faber). She has also written 20th Century Classical Music: A Ladybird Expert Book. She is a member of the jury for the International Opera Awards 2019, a trustee of Pimlico Opera (which presents opera in prisons, working with professionals and prisoners), an adviser to Wild Plum Arts (commissioning new vocal music for solo singers) and a patron of SWAP’ra (Supporting Women and Parents in Opera).

As a violinist, she plays chamber music with friends whenever time allows. She is currently working on a project about contemporary opera. She lives in London and Somerset.

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