We are looking forward to the 2021 Virtual Women Composers Festival of Hartford on March 19th and 20th, 2021! All events are free and will be available on the Event Page.

This is the first virtual Festival in our 20-year history, and through technology, we can reach even more people throughout the globe who love music and who want to support music created by women.

We recognize that so many of you, like the musicians and composers you will meet during this Festival, have suffered financial hardship as a result of the global pandemic that has consumed our lives for the past year. For this reason, for the first time, we opted to make this Festival free and accessible to all.

For those who are financially able to do so, we encourage you to make a tax-deductible donation, in lieu of a ticket. The suggested minimum donation is $25.00, but no amount is too small – or too large – and is deeply appreciated. Your donations help us to continue our mission to showcase the work of women composers throughout the world.

The Women Composers Festival of Hartford celebrates the diverse body of women’s music – both past and present. Festival concerts feature works by local composers, guest artists, and many more!

Continuing our tradition of diversity in performance and outreach takes a great deal of resources. Please consider making a donation to support this effort. Read more about how you can donate.

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All content copyright © 2019 WCFH unless otherwise specified. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction, in part or full, is prohibited.

Highlights from Festivals Past

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.

We hope to bring you more soon.

2020 Festival POSTPONED

Due to the current COVID-19 situation and the precautions being taken by the University of Hartford and the State of Connecticut, the 2020 Women Composers Festival of Hartford is POSTPONED.

We are optimistic that we will find dates in the near future to feature these talented artists, and look forward to showcasing their work.

If you have any questions, please contact us at womencomposersfestivalhartford@gmail.com.

2020 Festival

3-Day Festival passes are on sale for the 2020 Women Composers Festival of Hartford! Individual tickets for the Music Marathon and Ensemble-in-Residence Concert are also available.

Thursday, March 19, 7:00pm: Welcome ConcertNetworking, and Registration
Bliss Music Room, The Hartt School, University of Hartford

Friday, March 20, 9:30am-4:00pm: Forum of scholarly presentations and lecture/recitals
Room 410, The Hartt School, University of Hartford
Friday, March 20, 7:00pm: Student Composers Workshop
Bliss Music Room, The Hartt School

Saturday, March 21, 10:00am-4:00pm: Music Marathon
Wilde Auditorium, Grey Conference Center, University of Hartford
Saturday, March 21, 7:00pm: Closing Concert featuring The Craft Ensemble and world premiere by Melika Fitzhugh
Wilde Auditorium, Grey Conference Center, University of Hartford

Supported in part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign with major support from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

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Duo Songs Exposed In Celebration of Women

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).

Michelle Murray Fiertek, Michael Korman, and Kristen Lauria

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.