Since 2005, Richard Coffey has been the Music Director of the Hartford Chorale, the region’s principal symphonic chorus, appearing frequently with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and offering significant concerts on its own. In this role, Mr. Coffey has conducted the Chorale and the Symphony in major concerts in Hartford’s Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Coffey is also Artistic Director of CONCORA, Connecticut Choral Artists, which he founded in 1974 as the region’s first all-professional concert choir. Since 1972, Mr. Coffey has been Minister of Music for the South Church of New Britain, Connecticut, where he directs a distinguished choir of professional and volunteer musicians in liturgy and in concert. In 1973 he established The Music Series at South Church, a community performing arts presenter and, in 2003, he established, through South Church, a region-wide nonsectarian choir for children, The Main Street Singers. Mr. Coffey has served on the music faculties of the Hartt School and of the University of Connecticut. From 1998 until 1993, he was Chorus Master for the Connecticut Opera Association.
In 1992, he was named Choral Director of the Year by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, in recognition of “outstanding contributions to the advancement of choral music through distinguished service and the highest standards of performance.” In 2007, he received a Major Achievement Award from The Hartford Symphony Orchestra in recognition of his “outstanding and inspiring artistic leadership of the Symphony’s two major choral partners, CONCORA and The Hartford Chorale,” and in 2008 the Greater New Britain Arts Alliance presented him its award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. Mr. Coffey is the 2009 recipient of the Alfred Nash Patterson Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to choral singing and its culture within New England.