Mississippi University for Women’s Dr. Julia Mortyakova is one of the recipients of International Alliance for Women in Music’s (IAWM) Programming Award.

Julia Mortyakova

Mortyakova, a professor and chair of the music department at The W, is one of two recipients of the award for 2023. The award, which includes a $100 prize, is open to any solo performers, performance groups or arts organizations that are current members of IAWM.

“This award means the most to me since I have dedicated my life to performing music by women composers. The award, ‘honors and endorses those performers who have made deliberate, conscious efforts to achieve greater gender equity in their programming by including women composers.’ Therefore, receiving this award is a recognition of my commitment to advocacy for women composers on and off the stage,” said Mortyakova.

The commitment includes the founding of the International Annual Music by Women Festival, which is held at The W each March. This year’s event is set for March 7-9.

“Mortyakova 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,” reads the award synopsis from IAWM.

Mortyakova has been at The W since 2012, where she has enjoyed an illustrious career, winning numerous other awards including: the 2021 Performing Arts Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission, the 2023 MUW Excellence in Creative Activity Award, the 2017 Mississippi Honored Artist (Mississippi State Committee of National Museum of Women in the Arts), being included on the Mississippi Artist Roster, a laureate of the 2014 American Prize for her performance Cécile Chaminade and the winner of the 2012 Sigma Alpha lota Career Performance Grant.

She hopes to use this most recent award to further expand her mission of bringing women composers to the forefront of the music world.

“The award supports and recognizes my passion for programming women composers. In addition to performing, I have recorded four albums featuring music by women composers and have presented numerous conference presentations about their lives and work. I hope that publicizing this award will inspire others to explore and perform more music by women. I am very excited to receive this honor as it highlights my desire to change the performance cannon and bring more women composers back unto the concert stage,” she said.


International Alliance for Women in Music is the world’s leading organization devoted to the equity, promotion and advocacy of women in music across time, cultures and genres. IAWM offers membership to anyone advocating for women in music. A connective and informative global organization, with members in 28 countries and growing, IAWM increases opportunity and visibility for women in music.

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.