Personal Interviews with Richard Coffey

Personal interviews with Richard Coffey, Music Director of the Hartford Chorale since 2005 and recipient of prestigious Achievement awards as one of New England’s principal choral conductors.

Vision for the Hartford Chorale – Richard Coffey


My Expectations of a Chorale Member – Richard Coffey


Auditions at the Hartford Chorale – Richard Coffey


Fun in the Hartford Chorale – Richard Coffey

War Requiem by Benjamin Britten

“Britten War Requiem”

Hear the Hartford Chorale in concert with choirs from the Hartt School, the Cathedral of St. Joseph and the Connecticut Children’s Choir. Christian Zimmerman conducted the Hartt Symphony Orchestra. The Cathedral of St. Joseph, Hartford CT. May 2, 2010

Christopher Zimmerman, Conductor with the Hartt Symphony Orchestra
Choir of the Cathedral of St. Joseph
Connecticut Chilren’s Choir
Hartt Choirs


1 min 15 sec | Kyrie Eleisonby Benjamin Britten


3 min 38 sec | Dies Iraeby Benjamin Britten

Our Chorale/Orchestral Masterworks History

The Hartford Chorale in concert with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
Requiem by Verdi with Edward Cumming conducting.
Mortensen Hall, The Bushnell Center for Performing Arts. April 3, 2009


Over the years, the Chorale has given critically acclaimed performances of major choral/orchestral masterworks, including:

  • Orff’s Carmina Burana,our first performance under the baton of Carolyn Kuan
  • Beethoven’s Mass in C, our first performance under the baton of Edward Cumming
  • Verdi’s Requiem, under the direction of noted American choral conductor Joseph Flummerfelt
  • Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, with Yale Camerata and the University of Connecticut Festival Chorus, to commemorate Michael Lankester’s final year as the Music Director of the HSO
  • Sir Edward Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius (March 2000), to mark the 100th anniversary of that piece’s premiere
  • Requiems of Brahms, Mozart, Verdi, Durufle and Berlioz
  • Premiering works by Dave Brubeck and West Hartford composer Edward Diemente
  • Commissioning two choral/orchestral works: And Sing Eternally by Alice Parker, one of America’sfinest choral composers and a long-time collaborator of Robert Shaw; and A Symphony of Songsby Frederick Tillis, a noted classical and jazz composer from the University of Massachusetts, thesetting of which was four poems by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Hartford resident,Wallace Stevens
  • Bach’s Christmas Oratorio Part I, with CONCORA and the HSO under Richard Coffey
  • Handel’s Messiah, as part of the HSO Masterworks Series for the first time in December 2005, to record-setting crowds; Richard Coffey conducted
  • Three performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, including a performance at Woolsey Hall in New Haven
  • Mozart’s Requiem, to observe his 250th birth anniversary; one of the performances was dedicated to the memory of Donna LeMay, a long-time Chorale member and devoted Chorale manager

Greetings from Richard Coffey, Music Director

A Message from Richard Coffey

[frame type=”left” width=”175″ height=”210″ src=”/wp-content/uploads/richard-coffey4-home-01.jpg” alt=”Richard Coffey, Music Director” title=”Richard Coffey, Music Director”] Some anthropologists and other human-behavior specialists tell us that the first sounds we make, post-womb, are musical. Other scientists and philosophers claim that vocal music, that is, singing, can be classified and described back to the earliest days of civilization as songs of lament (at the death of a child, for instance), songs of love (a mating cry), and songs of joy (an ecstatic outburst). What makes us sing so freely (often when we think no one is listening)? Why do some melodies make their nest in our brains such that we sometimes need to chase them out (to make room for new ones)? This is not a quiz, and there are no correct answers.

But singing, both primitive and modern, is at the heart of much of our human communication, within ourselves and with others, and choral singing is a radiant, timeless expression of that need to “commune.” The Hartford Chorale, as the region’s principal symphonic chorus, is at the heart of this large, southern New England “neighborhood.” Its 180 voices deliver to thousands of ears, minds, and hearts, the inexplicable and ineffable treasure and pleasure of text and tune, melody and harmony, antiphony and polyphony.

If you would like to “commune” with us, please do so, either by joining our song as a performing member, by visiting a rehearsal, or by attending a concert. You will be transformed by the power of the human voice and its capacity to move the soul. Your long-lost, perhaps “primitive” song will be unleashed, and everyone will rejoice at the new you! For enrichment, inspiration, and fulfillment, hitch your wagon to the Chorale “star” and become…stellar.

Richard Coffey, Music Director
The Hartford Chorale