COLUMBUS, Miss. – Dr. Julia Mortyakova, chair of the Department of Music and associate professor of music at Mississippi University for Women, was recently named an Honored Artist by the Mississippi State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

 This award recognizes Mississippi women artists who have become known nationally and internationally for their artistic achievements.

"I am very honored and excited to receive this recognition. As a member of NMWA, and someone dedicated to highlighting the contributions of women composers both through my performance activities as well as through my work as artistic director of the Music by Women Festival, this award is very special to me," said Mortyakova.

She recently released her solo piano album, “A Celebration of Women in Music,” featuring piano works by women composers throughout history. Mortyakova specializes in performing the music by women composers, particularly of Cecile Chaminade, and is the 2014 laureate of the American Prize for the performance of her music.

Mortyakova is the founder and artistic director of the Music by Women Festival, an annual international event dedicated to promoting the music of women composers historically, as well as in the present day.

Another annual event is the Women in the Arts Showcase, which The W hosted in 2013 and 2017. Mortyakova organized and performed recitals featuring music by women composers for both of The W hosted showcases.

The committee supports the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ mission and promotes the contributions of Mississippi artists through various activities throughout the year. One of its events is the Honored Artists Awards Luncheon which takes place in Jackson. Mortyakova was recognized at this annual August event.

State Committee president, Lillian Wade (MUW class of 1968), praised Mortyakova for her "dedication to bringing recognition to women composers. The performance of works by often unknown women composers enriches the arts for everyone. It is particularly significant that she leads the music department at the nation’s first publicly supported university for women.

"The Mississippi State Committee is proud to honor Dr. Mortyakova and add her name to the list of outstanding women with Mississippi connections who have excelled in their fields of fine and performing arts. MUW alumni who are on the list of Honored Artists include Eudora Welty, Dr. Eugenia Summer, Dr. Mary Evelyn Stringer, Patti Carr Black, Elayne Goodman, P. Sanders McNeal and Valerie Jaudon.”

The other honored artists were Sarah Frances Hardy, an illustrator of children’s books based in Oxford, and Myra Meade, a landscape painter in Hattiesburg. Three college students were awarded scholarships for their academic work in the arts. There were two staffers from the NMWA in attendance along with W faculty Beverly Joyce, Gillian Furniss and Brian Anderson.

Aug. 9, 2017


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