Our 2024 Festival will be held on Friday & Saturday, March 1st & 2nd, 2024.
We are grateful to our hosts at Central Connecticut State University, and we look forward to filling Founders Hall with the incredible music of women composers!
The Women Composers Festival of Hartford promotes the music of contemporary and historical women composers.
We embrace diversity of race, ethnicity, and ability, and empower artists from underrepresented groups who identify as women, including transgender and gender-fluid individuals, women of color, indigenous groups, LGBTQ, and the differently abled.
Smart, transcendent, and immersive, Kirsten Volness’ emotive soundscapes integrate electronics and modern composition techniques with jazz and pop influences. “Irresistible” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “nothing short of gorgeous.” (New York Arts), each of her compositions reveals “an exquisite sound world” (New Classic LA) inspired by nature, myth, spirituality, and environmental and sociopolitical issues. With commissions from New Music USA, World Future Council Foundation, BMI Foundation, Metropolis Ensemble, and The American Opera Project, Volness received MacColl Johnson and RISCA Fellowships. She holds a DMA from the University of Michigan and has taught at Lewis & Clark, Reed College, and the University of Rhode Island.
2024 Ensemble-in-Residence: Balance Campaign
Balance Campaign is a contemporary classical sextet that believes that relevant programming and thoughtful collaboration are a powerful force for change and equal representation in new music. A laboratory of sound and experimentation, they collaborate with musical voices that are too frequently undervalued or excluded from the classical canon to create programs of diverse musical stories. The ensemble also partners with local musicians, artists, composers, and presenters to showcase the unique musical landscape of their home in the Maryland and Washington DC area.
In 2021, Balance Campaign recorded and released their first commission, ANIMAL, by Nathan Lincoln de Cusatis, which addresses issues on climate change and humanity’s innate tendency toward self-destruction. In 2022, Balance Campaign collaborated with composer Ashi Day on her immersive chamber opera, Waking the Witch, that explores human vulnerability to absurd beliefs and the danger of mixing authority and religion with black-and-white thinking and conspiracy theories. Upcoming commissions and premieres include works by Alexandra T Bryant, Ledah Finck, and native Washingtonian Jeffrey Mumford.
When you make a tax-deductible donation to the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, your money directly supports the creation, promotion, and performance of women’s music.
Women Composer HerStory
This series is hosted by Artistic Chair Melika M. Fitzhugh.
Previous Festival Awardees
Whistling Hens’ debut album, Reacting to the Landscape, includes nine world premiere recordings of works by seven living American women composers. Showcasing five commissions, soprano Jennifer Piazza-Pick and clarinetist Natalie Groom masterfully present a wide variety of styles, sounds, and stories.
The album title, Reacting to the Landscape, comes from an interview with former Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conductor Marin Alsop (the first female to lead a major orchestra in the U.S.).
Read more about the Whistling Hens and their album on our Spotlight page, and you can purchase the album here.