Connecticut Summerfest


Our 2019 Festival will take place from June 13-19, 2019 at The Hartt School

Mission Statement:
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. The festival provides the Greater Hartford community with contemporary music concerts of the highest caliber through a nightly concert series featuring three ensembles-in-residence and brand-new pieces written by festival composition students.

Connecticut Summerfest, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Photo of Gala Flagello and Aaron N. Price, courtesy of Shana Sureck

Our Story:
Co-Founders Aaron N. Price and (770) 314-0131 met at The Hartt School in West Hartford, Connecticut where they recognized the potential for an affordable, compact summer music program right in their own backyard. The structure of Connecticut Summerfest was crafted from some of the most advantageous aspects of festivals Aaron and Gala had each personally attended: a week-long event with three ensembles-in-residence, two composition faculty members, and a variety of guest speakers. In addition to live premieres, festival composers will benefit from a professional recording session of their new works, commissioned by the festival and the ensembles-in-residence. Resident ensembles are also invited to give a recital of their own repertoire as part of the festival’s nightly concert series. In an effort to serve a broader audience, not only are Connecticut Summerfest’s concerts free and open to the public, they are also live-streamed so that they may be enjoyed from anywhere in the world.

Connecticut Summerfest is honored to utilize the world-class performance and recording facilities at The Hartt School in West Hartford, CT! The festival will host its seminars and guest speakers in quality classrooms in the Alfred C. Fuller Music Center. Concerts and recording sessions will take place in Berkman Recital Hall, an outstanding venue for chamber music.

Akropolis Reed Quintet during Recording Sessions in Berkman Recital Hall with Brandon Keogan (Technical Coordinator) and Will Jones (Recording Engineer)

Participants of Connecticut Summerfest will be housed in Hawk Hall on the University of Hartford campus for the duration of the festival. Hawk Hall is a modern dormitory that not only provides sleeping space, but also study rooms and casual hangout areas. All meals will be provided to participants throughout the festival.

Hawk Hall

Connecticut Summerfest extends our thanks to The Hartt School for their support during our festival.


"I have been exposed to many different sides of music, and was inspired and encouraged by everyone here!"
-Becky Turro, 2018 Festival Composer

"Connecticut Summerfest was an incredibly rewarding experience. The amount of artistry from my fellow composers, the ensembles-in-residence, and the faculty was truly inspiring."
-Mario Godoy, 2018 Festival Composer

"So much artistry and skill in such a short period of time! It was such a pleasure to work with the talented young composers throughout the festival. It's such a rarity to be a part of a festival that puts contemporary music front and center, and it was a joy to be an ensemble-in-residence with an organization and community that shares our same artistic values for making new music."
-Kari Landry, Akropolis Reed Quintet, 2018 Ensemble-in-Residence

"Connecticut Summerfest was a truly incredible experience. This festival attracts many of the most talented emerging composers, whom we were thrilled to work with and plan to collaborate with in the future. We spent the week immersed in three highly varied works which each push us to imagine our ensemble in new ways. These new works will become staples of our repertoire, and it is an invaluable experience to work so closely with the composer. Everyone at the festival becomes friends, with meals and activities being shared by composers, ensembles-in-residence, and staff. Connecticut Summerfest is the most well organized festival that we have encountered, and it was an absolute joy to be a part of. "
-Allison Hughes & Joseph Van Doran, Duo Alterity, 2018 & 2019 Ensemble-in-Residence

"I had a wonderful experience at Connecticut Summerfest. The administrators were organized and professional from the time I received the forward materials through the entirety of the festival. My performers gave an excellent rendition of my new work and were very easy to work with. In addition, I got to meet composers from around the world and hear their music."
~Josh Sparkman, 2017 Festival Composer

“Coming from a non-traditional path in developing as a composer, I was welcomed into a stimulating collegial environment, learned a great deal, and left with great new friends and real opportunities for performance of my work. A very well-organized festival!”
~Jeff Young, 2017 Festival Composer

"Connecticut Summerfest provides composers with a wonderful opportunity to explore new ensembles, hone their musical skills, and meet a diverse array of artists, all within the supportive climate of The Hartt School. It is well suited for composers in all stages of their careers, as its novelty fosters a dynamic and innovative environment perfect for experimentation and self-discovery. Connecticut Summerfest has a bright future which is sure to illuminate the world of contemporary classical music."
~Daniel Collins, 2016 Festival Composer

"Connecticut Summerfest not only brings musicians together, but the small size and intimate setting in Connecticut allows composers and performers to interact and develop relationships that most other festivals do not provide. The performers brought in represent the best in chamber and contemporary music, and the speakers provide insightful and intriguing presentations from using yoga to improve performance practice to the history of Haydn and Wagner's entrepreneurship. Aaron and Gala have created a positive environment that allows composers both young and old to develop into better composers, musicians and entrepreneurs."
~Dale Sakamoto, 2016 Festival Composer

Past Festival Information:

The Third Season of Connecticut Summerfest took place from June 14th-June 20th, 2018.

2018 Ensembles-in-Residence: Duo Alterity, 951-595-2387, 830-302-4096
2018 Composition Faculty: Kenneth Fuchs, Paula Matthusen, Dan Roman, 412-253-0174
2018 Festival Composers: Alexis Carrier, Yufei Chen, Mario Godoy, Patrick Holcomb, Grace Ma, David Jones, Joungmin Lee, D.H. Regnier, Becky Turro

More information about our 2018 Festival is available in our 2018 Concert Program Booklet (PDF)
Hear performances from our 2018 Festival on our 5814575438

The Second Season of Connecticut Summerfest took place from June 15th-June 21st, 2017.

2017 Ensembles-in-Residence: 6095718523, Meraki Chamber Players, Xelana Duo
2017 Composition Faculty: Gilda Lyons, Kenneth Steen
2017 Festival Composers: Zachary Gulaboff Davis, 3867746263, sudoresis, (671) 487-7657, Jonathan Newmark, (617) 834-7932, Josh Sparkman, 972-999-1991, 6135246984
More information about our 2017 Festival is available in our (678) 455-9476
Hear performances from our 2017 Festival on our (817) 486-6575

The Inaugural Season of Connecticut Summerfest took place from June 9th-June 15th, 2016.

2016 Ensembles-in-Residence: Apple Orange Pair, 336-734-2815, Resound Duo
2016 Composition Faculty: Robert Carl, David Macbride
2016 Festival Composers: (714) 709-0899, 8189145985, (631) 564-5584, 2365954084, Noah Marconi, (228) 641-9950, Dale Sakamoto, single-tax

More information about our 2016 Festival is available in our 604-923-0395
Hear performances from our 2016 Festival on our (419) 552-9070

Connecticut Summerfest is a proud member of the Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

Subscribe to the Connecticut Summerfest e-newsletter for updates about our festival!
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2019 Ensembles-in-Residence

(801) 265-3200

Allison Hughes, flute
Joseph Van Doran, guitar


Michael Avitabile, flute
David Dziardziel, clarinet
Zenas Hsu, violin
Jesse Christeson, cello

Quince Ensemble

Kayleigh Butcher, mezzo soprano
Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, soprano
Liz Pearse, soprano
Carrie Henneman Shaw, soprano

2019 Composition Faculty

Aaron Jay Kernis


Professor of Composition
Yale University
Laura Kaminsky

Laura Kaminsky

Professor of Composition
Purchase College
Miguel del Aguila


American Composer
Three-time GRAMMY Nominee

Robert Carl

Professor of Composition
The Hartt School, University of Hartford

Administrative Staff

Photo of Aaron N. Price

Aaron N. Price


Aaron N. Price
Artistic Director, Co-Founder

Photo of Gala Flagello

Gala Flagello


Gala Flagello
Festival Director, Co-Founder

Photo of Maria Paterno

Maria Paterno


Maria Paterno
Media & Development Manager

2019 Festival Concert Program

All of Connecticut Summerfest's concerts are free to attend and open to the public. No advanced ticket reservation is required, and live streams are available!

Fri. June 14, 2019
Quince Ensemble

8:00pm EDT
Berkman Recital Hall

Kayleigh Butcher, mezzo soprano
Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, soprano
Liz Pearse, soprano
Carrie Henneman Shaw, soprano

Live Stream will be available

Sat. June 15, 2019
Hub New Music

8:00pm EDT
Berkman Recital Hall

Michael Avitabile, flute
David Dziardziel, clarinet
Zenas Hsu, violin
Jesse Christeson, cello

Live Stream will be available

Sun. June 16, 2019
Duo Alterity

8:00pm EDT
Berkman Recital Hall

Allison Hughes, flute
Joseph Van Doran, guitar

Live Stream will be available

Tues. June 18, 2019
Evening of Premieres

8:00pm EDT
Berkman Recital Hall

Duo Alterity
Hub New Music
Quince Ensemble

Live Stream will be available


Application Information

Applications for our 2019 Composition Program are now being accepted!

Festival Composers will receive:

  • Live and live-streamed premiere of newly composed work by one of three professional ensembles-in-residence
  • High-quality, mastered audio of newly composed work in studio recording session
  • Concert video recording from live premiere, featured on our YouTube channel
  • Four private, 1-hour lessons with our world-class composition faculty members
  • Dedicated rehearsal time with our ensembles-in-residence
  • One-on-one, 30-minute career consultation with Angela Myles Beeching
  • Attendance of guest lectures with leading music specialists
  • Housing and meals for the duration of the festival

Application Guidelines:

  • Applicants to Connecticut Summerfest's Composition Program will be asked to submit two (2) representative scores and recordings, which are to be no longer than 15 minutes in combined duration. Single movements or excerpted scores and recordings may be submitted. Both acoustic and electronic/electroacoustic submissions will be accepted for adjudication.
  • Because this is a blind application, submitted scores and recordings must not include the composer's name, geographic location, or any information about commissioning parties. Submitted scores and recordings must not only omit this information in text on the score, it also must be omitted from file names and metadata. Failure to omit this information will lead to disqualification of application. Only audio files may be submitted-- video files will not be accepted.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age on or before June 13, 2019.
  • Composers invited to the festival may choose to compose either an acoustic or electroacoustic work, as the festival will have access to a stereo sound system. Any additional equipment, software, or personnel the piece would need must be provided by the composer. Invited composers will be asked to give a presentation of their music at one of the daily composition seminars.

    Application Timeline
    Saturday, December 1, 2018: Early Bird Application Deadline-- $30 before 11:59PM EST; or
    Saturday, January 5, 2019: Final Deadline to Apply-- $45 before 11:59PM EST.
    Mid-February 2019: Notification of Adjudication Result sent to applicants via e-mail.

    The tuition for those accepted is $2095, which includes lodging and meals for the duration of the festival. A non-refundable deposit of $419 is to be submitted within 10 days of acceptance to confirm a position on our roster.

    We are thrilled to be offering three partial scholarships to 2019 festival composers: the Women Composers Scholarship, Composers of Color Scholarship, and the Long Distance Travel Scholarship. If you would like to be considered for these scholarships, please check the appropriate boxes on your application form.

    The final round application adjudicators for Connecticut Summerfest's 2019 Season are Kenneth Fuchs, 7342701876, and Jessica Rudman.

    Auditing Program
    Interested composers may audit Connecticut Summerfest 2019. Auditors have the opportunity to observe rehearsals, attend lectures, and interact with our faculty, ensembles-in-residence, and festival composers. The Resident Auditor program is $595 and includes housing, meals, and a parking pass. The Commuting Auditor program is $245, includes a parking pass, and is ideal for local composers. Use our Contact Form to learn more or to reserve a spot!

    Please note: all $ amounts are displayed in U.S. Dollars (USD)

    Step One

    Submit Non-Refundable Application Fee

    Step Two

    You will receive an email confirmation of your application fee payment. In the top right corner there will be a "Receipt No."

    Save this number-- you will be asked for it on the Application Form.

    Step Three

    Fill out our (503) 830-6569

    How To Support Connecticut Summerfest

    Gifts of any amount to Connecticut Summerfest, Inc. help support emerging composers and performers through residency programs, educational opportunities, and a concert series open to the public in West Hartford, CT as well as live-streamed. Connecticut Summerfest, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and all contributions are tax deductible. Below are the sponsorship benefits available when you donate to Connecticut Summerfest.

    (If you would like to make a donation by check, please use our 5093544201)

    Sponsorship Benefit Contributor
    Advance Notice of Concert Programming ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
    Acknowledgement on Printed Programs ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
    Digital download of full-sized, color concert series poster ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
    Personal Recognition on Facebook page ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
    Attendance of a guest lecture during the festival ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
    Concert poster print ✔ ✔ ✔
    YouTube video dedication ✔ ✔ ✔
    Concert series poster signed by ensembles-in-residence ✔ ✔
    Attendance of rehearsal of ensemble-in-residence ✔ ✔
    Framed, signed concert poster ✔
    Invitation to private Meet and Greet with ensembles-in-residence ✔
    Concert dedication with verbal acknowledgement at beginning ✔

    How does AmazonSmile work?
    For eligible purchases at AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the customer’s selected charitable organization.
    Using the button above, you can support Connecticut Summerfest while shopping at Amazon!

    Advisory Board

    Our advisory board generously provides strategic advice pertaining to the operations, logistics, and management of Connecticut Summerfest.
    David Bell

    David C. Bell

    Associate Dean

    The Hartt School
    University of Hartford

    Milena Erwin

    Milena Erwin

    Program Manager

    Women's Business Center
    University of Hartford

    Larry Alan Smith

    Larry Alan Smith


    The Hartt School
    University of Hartford

    Susan Spaulding

    Susan Spaulding

    Professor of Horn

    The Hartt School
    University of Hartford

    Contact Us

    Connecticut Summerfest is a week-long contemporary music festival for the education and career advancement of emerging composers and performers.

    The festival is comprised of seminars, lessons, rehearsals, and recording sessions for participants, as well as a free concert series open to the public, featuring our ensembles-in-residence and new works by festival composers!

    Connecticut Summerfest, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.