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Connecticut Summerfest 2019

Connecticut Summerfest is a contemporary music festival that brings together talented emerging composers and inventive chamber ensembles.

The Latest Update

2019 Evening of Premieres Playlist

Posted on October 7, 2019 by Connecticut Summerfest, Inc.

OUR 2019 EVENING OF PREMIERES CONCERT VIDEOS ARE ONLINE! How is this for some happy Monday news? Start your week off right with some AMAZING performances of new music from our festival this past June!

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2019 Festival Wrap Up

Posted on September 19, 2019 by Connecticut Summerfest, Inc.

We are so thrilled to have wrapped up our fabulous fourth season! Thank you to our audience members, donors, ensembles-in-residences, lecturers, festival composers, composition faculty, and staff for helping making our festival bigger and better every year!

Connecticut Summerfest 2019 Highlights:
★ Full house at our Evening of Premieres concert on Tuesday, June 18th!
★ 96 live-stream views for our Evening of Premieres concert!
★ More applications than ever before to the Connecticut Summerfest Composition Program!
★ 5 international festival composition students!
★ Our first time partnering with the New Britain Museum of American Art for our visual arts excursion!
★ Our first time engaging a featured guest lecturer: arts career specialist and author, Angela Myles Beeching!
★ Check back soon for videos of our 2019 concert series!

★ “I loved getting new perspectives from so many different composers and musicians! I had an incredibly inspiring week.”
—Becky Turro, 2019 Festival Composer
★ “Hearing contemporary music by young composers is so invigorating! I love the exposure you provide to these artists.”
—2019 Concert Goer, Evening of Premieres
★ “Connecticut Summerfest manages to create a warm, close-knit, and welcoming community without sacrificing the rigor, intensity, and quality one hopes to find at a summer new music festival.”
—Dale Osterman, 2019 Festival Composer
★ “Connecticut Summerfest is a fantastic festival run by composers who care deeply about the experience of all involved. We have had the pleasure and honor of being an ensemble-in-residence twice, and we had amazing experiences working with each of our six composers.This festival truly feels like a community, with everyone working together to create stellar new music.”
—Allison Hughes & Joseph Van Doran, 2018 & 2019 Ensemble-in-Residence
★ “I continue to be impressed and pleased with the high quality of participants, performances, and organization of Connecticut Summerfest. Every year it goes from strength to strength, and always improves.”
—Robert Carl, 2019 Composition Faculty

A Very Special Thank You To…
★ The New Britain Museum of American Art, where we had our 2019 visual arts excursion!
★ The Green Teahouse of West Hartford, who, for a third season in a row, donated delicious specialty teas to all of our concert receptions!


Connecticut Summerfest is an annual contemporary music festival that brings together talented emerging composers with some of the country’s most innovative chamber music ensembles. Taking place in the heart of Connecticut, nine festival composers are selected through a blind adjudication process to collaborate with resident ensembles and receive the guidance of distinguished composition teachers and lecturers, culminating in the premiere of new works during our free nightly concert series. Connecticut Summerfest is a unique and affordable educational opportunity for composition students and a way for the Greater Hartford area to experience contemporary classical music free of charge. Our 2019 festival will occur June 13–19, 2019 at The Hartt School in West Hartford, CT.

Every year, Connecticut Summerfest invites professional, actively-touring chamber ensembles to work collaboratively with festival composers to bring new works to life. This year, we are thrilled to be featuring Quince Ensemble (Kayleigh Butcher, mezzo soprano; Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, soprano; Liz Pearse, soprano; and Carrie Henneman Shaw, soprano), Hub New Music (Michael Avitabile, flute; David Dziardziel, clarinet; Zenas Hsu, violin; and Jesse Christeson, cello), and Duo Alterity (Allison Hughes, flute and Joseph Van Doran, guitar).

The structure of Connecticut Summerfest was carefully crafted to provide emerging composers and ensembles a meaningful forum for artistic exchange and professional development, as well as to provide the community with free performances of high-calibre new music. The festival features seminars, lessons, and rehearsals during the day, followed by a series of four evening concerts, all of which are presented free to the public in addition to being live streamed in high definition. The first three concerts, which will occur at 8PM on June 14th, 15th, and 16th in Berkman Recital Hall at The Hartt School, showcase each of our ensembles-in-residence. The final concert on June 18th is our Evening of Premieres, during which brand new works by festival composers are brought to life.

Our daytime activities offer festival composers educational and career advancement opportunities. In addition to rehearsing with ensembles throughout the morning and afternoon, participants attend interactive presentations by world-class guest lecturers, private hour-long lessons with each resident composition faculty member, and composition seminars that engage all participants in serious artistic discussions. This year’s composition faculty members are Aaron Jay Kernis, Professor of Composition at the Yale School of Music; Robert Carl, Professor of Composition and Theory at The Hartt School; three-time Grammy nominated composer Miguel del Aguila; and Laura Kaminsky, Professor at Large at the School of the Arts/Conservatory of Music at Purchase College/SUNY. This season’s featured lecturer is music career consultant Angela Myles Beeching who will be presenting a workshop to all festival composers and then engaging composers one-on-one in personalized career strategy sessions. Michael Avitabile (flutist of Hub New Music) and Kayleigh Butcher (mezzo soprano of Quince Ensemble) will each give a lecture to festival composers as well.

Project Media

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Duo Alterity (Allison Hughes, flute; Joseph Van Doran, guitar) premiere 2018 Festival Composer Yufei Chen’s new piece “Laidback” at the Connecticut Summerfest 2018 Evening of Premieres.

Boulder/Avalanche from “The Full Range of Blue” by Laura Kaminsky
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Hub New Music performs Boulder/Avalanche, the 7th Movement of Laura Kaminsky’s piece “The Full Range of Blue.” Video by Scott Quade.

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Features: Quince Ensemble

Poland premiere of David Lang’s love fail at the KODY Festiwal in Lublin, Poland with Beth Morrison Projects

Performed by Quince Ensemble

Start and End Dates



West Hartford, Connecticut

2 updates
Last update on October 7, 2019

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West Hartford, Connecticut
Connecticut Summerfest brings together talented emerging composers with some of the country’s most inventive chamber music ensembles for a week-long festival of artistic exchange culminating in nine world premieres. Since our inaugural season in 2015, we have premiered 35 new works, collaborated with 9 chamber ensembles, engaged 11 composition faculty members, and presented 9 lectures…

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Composition Faculty
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Bronx, New York
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Seattle, Washington
Chicago, Illinois
Boston, Massachusetts


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