Sparks & Wiry Cries is a global platform for art song that explores the dynamic union of music and text through publication, performance, and commission of new works, enlivening the practice and experience of artful storytelling within its diverse community.

Co-founder: Soprano Martha Guth has performed recitals at St. John’s Smith Square, Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center, the Liederkranz, and for the 5Borough’s Music Festival, the Aldeburgh Connection, Clavecin en Concert, ChamberFest, the Andre Turp society, and many more. She regularly performs symphonic and oratorio repertoire across North America.  Her operatic performances include the Santa Fe Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, the Grazer Oper, and Opera Lyra in Ottawa. Collaborative partners include Erika Switzer, Graham Johnson Malcolm Martineau, Spencer Myer and Dalton Baldwin.  She has been recorded live and broadcast by the NPR, CBC, the BBC and WDR in Germany.  Her growing discography includes 'The 5 Boroughs Songbook' for Roven Records,  a solo disc of Schubert Songs, for Musica Omnia, Roberto Sierra's Orchestra song cycle 'Beyond the Silence of Sorrow' for Naxos with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Puerto Rico, nominated for a Latin GRAMMY.  Forthcoming is a disc of songs by Andrew Staniland for Centrediscs with Erika Switzer and Tyler Duncan.

: Erika Switzer is an internationally active pianist, teacher, and arts administrator. Heard on the stages of New York’s Weill Hall (Carnegie) and Geffen Hall, at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, and the Bard Music Festival, she has also appeared across Canada at festivals including Vancouver’s Music on Main and Ottawa’s ChamberFest.  During her seven-year sojourn to Germany, she performed at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and for the Munich Winners & Masters series, and won numerous awards, including best pianist prizes at the Robert Schumann, Hugo Wolf, and Wigmore Hall International Song Competitions.  Devoted to the performance of new music, Erika has recorded works by Jocelyn Morlock and Andrew Staniland for Centrediscs. An upcoming release, “English Songs à la française” features her long-standing duo-partnership with baritone Tyler Duncan. Erika Switzer is on the music faculty at Bard College and the Vocal Arts Program of the Bard Conservatory of Music, where her work centers on diction for singers, vocal coaching, and chamber music.  

EditorLucy Fitz Gibbon is a graduate of Yale University, and also holds degrees from The Glenn Gould School and Bard’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program.  Noted for her “dazzling, virtuoso singing” (Boston Globe), soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon is a dynamic musician whose repertoire spans the Baroque to the present. Believing that creating new works and recreating those lost in centuries past is integral to classical music’s future, Lucy is a champion of unexplored corners of music history as well as new works.

Grant writer:  Soprano Amy Petrongelli is finishing her final year of Doctoral work at the University of Michigan. She had her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist for Haydn's Creation as part of the Masterworks Choral Series, and recent performances include Schoenberg's 'Pierrot Lunaire' at Tanglewood, Joseph Schwantner's Sparrows with the Contemporary Directions Ensemble, and several world premiers.  Amy is a founding member of the Khemia Ensemble, a new music ensemble focusing on promoting cultural exchange through the commissioning and performance of contemporary classical music.  Khemia is  A passionate educator, Amy has maintained a private studio since 2005, and has taught at the University of Michigan, the University of Akron, Eastern Michigan University and Saginaw Valley State University.  She holds degrees from Central Michigan University and the University of Michigan.

Graphic designer: Michael Hofmann is a performer and visual artist based in Northern New Jersey.  He freelances as a graphic designer and social media manager, specializing in logo, print media, and webs media design. He is a graduate of both Vassar College and Bard Conservatory's Graduate Vocal arts Program.   As a singer, he enjoys a diverse performance career that includes ensemble singing, recitals, Medieval and Baroque period performance, and premieres of both song and opera. 




 Soprano Elly Ameling 


Soprano Minnita Daniel-Cox

Baritone Tyler Duncan 

Composer John Greer 

 Pianist Michael Brofman

Pianist Terry Dawson

Pianist Jocelyn Dueck

Translator Emily Ezust 

Pianist Graham Johnson 

Soprano Robyn Driedger Klassen

Pianist Laura Loewen

Baritone Rob McGinness

 Scholar Deen Larsen

 Baritone François Le Roux

 Soprano Elizabeth MacDonald

Composer Jocelyn Morlock

Mezzo-soprano Susan Platts

Pianist Renate Rossol 

Scholar Taylor Stoehr

Pianist Bruce Ubukata

  Scholar Michael Musgrave

Pianist Stephen Ralls 

 Pianist Liza Stepanova

 Artistic Director, Lecturer Richard Turp

Pianist Liz Upchurch 

Pianist Jonathan Ware

Soprano Sarah Elizabeth Wolfson

  Scholar Susan Youens


We would like to thank the people who have made this Ezine possible:



Margo Garrett, chair 

Erika Switzer, vice-chair and treasurer

Kayo Iwama

David Krohn

Matthew Principe

Paul Sperry


Our Donors:

$2,500+ The Schubert Club

The Casement Fund
Rhiannon Giddens
Spencer Myer

$1,000+ Winterreise  

Margo Garrett
Paul Sperry
Keith & Laurie Switzer
The Sorel Foundation

$500+ Die Schöne Müllerin   

Christopher Mirzai
Anne & Paul Glendon
Martha Guth
Hampsong Foundation
Erika Switzer

$250+ Schwanengesang

Ruben & Maria Matilda Garcia de Carbonell
Herschel Garfein
DeLloyd and Katherine Guth
Juliana Hall and David Sims
Cathy & Sandy Leff
Martha Ratliff
Dawn Upshaw

$100+ Erlkönig

Carlos Carbonnell
Frank Corliss
Jocelyn Dueck
Kayo Iwama
Belinda and Stephen Kaye
Che Loewen
Elisa Lajonchere
Naomi Louisa O'Connell

$50+ Gretchen am Spinnrade

Jesse Blumberg
Donna Breitzer
Darla Diltz
Donna Loewy
Robert Nordling
Leann Scheuring

$5+ An die Musik

Patricia Au
Benjamin Binder
Mark Bilyeu
Michael Brofman
Tory Browers
Jean Bernard Cerin
Lucy Fitz Gibbon
Tim Hill
Michael Hofmann
Meredith Kahrl
Michael Kelly
Bonnie MacEvoy
Elizabeth McDonald
Lynne McMurtry
Stephannie Moore
Alexandra Porter
Matthew Principe
Luke Randall
Daniel Schlosberg
Miori Sugiyama
Jolle Greenleaf
Clara Presser

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