The WCFH board and collaborators are working on ways to continue to be a platform for women’s music, even during this time of social distancing when we cannot gather in person.
Our Youtube channel has been updated with a playlist of performances from the 2019 Festival, including “You Are Not Alone” by 2019 Composer-in-Residence, Jennifer Jolley, “Where is my Voice” by Gabrielle Herbst, “F I X E D HbeaRt” by Niloufar Nourbakhsh, “a brief comment the current state of insanity” by Amelia S. Kaplan, and more from 2020 Composer-in-Residence Melika Fitzhugh, and selections performed by The Whistling Hens.
Women Composers Festival of Hartford is pleased to present Duo Songs Exposed, Michelle Murray Fiertek, soprano and Michael Korman, piano In Celebration of Women, February 21, 7:00pm at the Town and County Club in Hartford (22 Woodland St. Hartford, CT 06105).
Songs Exposed will present a program titled In Celebration of Women, featuring music by Dawn Sonntag, Libby Larsen, Barbara Harbach, and Hartford composer Rami Levin. The texts, all by women, include the poetry of American lyric poet Sara Teasdale and letters from Calamity Jane to her daughter. Each work addresses women’s spirit of independence and connection to the land. The duo will also be joined by clarinetist Kristen Lauria. A dessert reception will follow the performance.
Tickets are $45.00. You can make your ticket donation online, or at the door.
Individuals who cannot afford the ticket price are welcome. We offer a pay-what-you-can option and appreciate any donation amount.
Soprano Michelle Murray Fiertek is an active performer and teacher of wide-ranging styles from traditional classical and operatic repertoire to contemporary musical theater and pop/rock. Fiertek has received the University of Hartford Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award (2018) for her work in the Hartt School’s Vocal Studies Division; is trained and certified by NYC “rock musical guru” Sheri Sanders (Rock the Audition) as a teacher of the RTA curriculum (2018); and was nominated in the “Best Featured Actress in a Musical Production” category by Broadway World Connecticut (2015) for her performance as Miss Pinkerton/June Jinkins in Hartford Opera Theater’s double bill of “The Old Maid and the Thief” (Menotti) and “An Embarrassing Position” (Shore). Michelle’s career began in musical theater, performing for Disney World, on cruise ships, and in Japan. Her current research and performing focuses on Spanish and Latin American art song, contemporary American art song, and on helping singers understand the timbre, resonance, and stylistic differences between vocal genres to aid them in reaching their fullest potential.
She has been a faculty and guest recital artist at venues across the country and in Spain. Michelle made her Carnegie Hall debut with a solo performance of William Bolcom’s Cabaret Songs described as “First rate – engaging and authentic” in New York Concert Review. Michelle has studied under such famed musicians as the late pianist Miguel Zanetti and mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza as part of the celebrated Interpretation of Spanish Song program, as well as returned to the program in subsequent years as a guest artist. She continues to return to Spain to study with Jorge Robaina, pianist and vocal coach at the Escuela Superior de Canto in Madrid, and Patricia Caicedo, soprano and Latin American art song scholar, in Barcelona.
As a recording artist Fiertek is poised to release a new album of contemporary American art song through Albany Records in spring 2020. She has previously released two albums on the Summit Records label: Blue: The Complete Cabaret Songs of William Bolcom and Arnold Weinstein, described as “exemplary” by BBC Music Magazine and named “CD of the week” by the Arizona Republic and KBAQ-FM, and The Juliet Letters.
She has been a featured soloist in many large-scale choral works, including Fauré’s Requiem, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Mass in C Minor, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Bach’s B Minor Mass and Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum and Messiah with organizations such as Waterbury Symphony, New Haven Chorale, Con Brio Choral Society, Cypress Masterworks Chorale (CA), Pinnacle Presbyterian Church (AZ), and The Village Church (MA).
Professor Fiertek currently serves on the voice faculty of The Hartt School, University of Hartford where she teaches applied lessons, Vocal Literature I & II, and class voice. Additionally, she is adjunct voice faculty for Hartt Community Division and Manchester Community College; program director for the HCD Summer Musical Theatre Intensives; and Executive Director of Hartford Opera Theater. Fiertek is also a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. For more information please visit www.michellemurrayfiertek.com
Pianist Michael Korman, a native of Connecticut, is dedicated to providing audiences with new and authentic experiences through classical repertoire. Mr. Korman’s repertoire interests span from German lieder to cabaret song, opera to duo instrumental literature. His varied expertise as a vocal accompanist, piano teacher, organist, and singer have enabled him to work with musicians in numerous contexts. Mr. Korman believes that his identity as an artist is intertwined with his own self-education and with how he can help others learn. As a result of his dedication to the success of his students, Michael is the recipient of an MTNA Teacher Enrichment Grant. Michael holds a master’s degree from the Hartt School.
Clarinetist Kristen Lauria is a passionate teacher and performer. Kristen graduated from The Hartt School with a bachelors degree in music performance and education, and a masters degree in clarinet performance from Queens College. Kristen has performed avidly in orchestras and chamber ensembles and served as principal clarinetist of the Queens College Orchestra and the Hartt Orchestra. She performs with the Tahoe Festival Orchestra in the summer and has performed in the National Music Festival, Miami Music Festival, and Trentino Music Festival in Italy. Kristen student-taught both band and choir and currently teaches band at a middle school and high school. She will be performing and recording the Nielsen Clarinet Concerto with the Queens College Orchestra this December.
Leading up to our 20th anniversary season, the Women Composers Festival of Hartford is returning to where it all started: The Hartt School. Held over three days, the 2020 Festival will include a welcome concert and reception, Forum, Student Composers Workshop, Music Marathon, and Ensemble-in-Residence Concert.
The 2020 Call for Scores is open for string quartet submissions, to be reviewed by selection committee and Craft Ensemble. The winning selections will be performed during the Ensemble-in-Residence Concert (Saturday, March) alongside the featured commission by Composer-in-Residence, Melika Fitzhugh.
The 2020 Women Composers Festival of Hartford is being held at The Hartt School as part of the Hartt 100 celebration. Our thanks to The Hartt School and Dean Larry Alan Smith, Hartt Community Division and Director Noah Blocker-Glynn for their support.