International Alliance for Women in Music

2023 Programming Award Winners

Award is open to any solo performers, performance groups, or arts organizations that are current members of IAWM.

Congratulations to Whistling Hens and Julia Mortyakova!


Whistling Hens – $300 Award Winner

Whistling Hens was founded by soprano Jennifer Piazza-Pick and clarinetist Natalie

Groom to perform and commission music by women composers to create a financially and artistically equitable future for women in music. The duo’s name was plucked from a quote by a male music critic who wrote in 1918, “women composers are at best whistling hens.” Since its founding in 2018, Whistling Hens has commissioned 12 compositions, 10 transcriptions, the Whistling Hens Women Composer Coloring Book, and inspired 7 dedicated works.

The ensemble recently celebrated being featured in Classical Singer magazine and releasing their debut album. In 2023, they presented at Washington National Opera Institute at The Kennedy Center and were recipients of the inaugural Iranian Female Composers Association Award with composer Mojgan Misaghi. Other highlights include receiving Chamber Music America’s Residency Partnership Grant

(2020) and Classical Commissioning Award with composer Kate Soper (2022), serving as Ensemble in Residence for Darkwater Womn in Music Festival (2021), and holding an educational residency at Smith College (2023).

In 2024, the Hens will record their second album, and four new commissions will come to fruition by Kate Soper, Cherise Leiter, Mojgan Misaghi, and Seong Ae Kim.

They will also be in residence at Metropolitan State University of Denver in April.

Julia Mortyakova – $100 Award Winner


Pianist Julia Mortyakova maintains an international performing career. She is dedicated to advocating for women composers both on and off the stage. She regularly performs solo programs comprised solely of women composers, numerous piano concerti written by women, and has released four albums featuring their work. Additionally, she is the Founder/ Artistic Director of the International Annual Music by Women Festival. She plans to continue her performance advocacy by traveling throughout the world and sharing the music and the stories of women behind it with new audiences.


Julia is the recipient of the 2021 Performing Arts Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission, the 2023 MUW Excellence in Creative Activity Award and is the 2017 Mississippi Honored Artist (MS State Committee of NMWA). She is on the Mississippi Artist Roster. Julia is a laureate of the 2014 American Prize for her performance Cécile Chaminade, and the winner of the 2012 Sigma Alpha lota Career Performance Grant. Dr. Mortyakova serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at the Mississippi University for Women. She is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Vanderbilt University, New York University, and the University of Miami. Her textbook, Class Piano, is available from Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Every year IAWM hosts our annual Programming Awards for any solo performers, performance groups, or arts organizations.

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