KMFA Music Director Sara Hessel wins prestigious Gracie Award®!

photo credit: Todd V. Wolfson

The Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) has announced the 2011 winners of the annual Gracie Awards®, and Classical 89.5, KMFA’s own Sara Hessel is among them! Ms. Hessel is a 2011 Gracie Award winner for her program, Michael Nyman: Motion and Emotion, produced and broadcast from the studios of KMFA. [You might remember the blog entry with links to hear the interview portion of the program.]

“In producing Michael Nyman: Motion and Emotion, I hoped to draw attention to the full scope of his activities as a composer, beyond his famous score for The Piano. His music is so immediately appealing, and his musical language manages to be contemporary and timeless all at once,” says Ms. Hessel. “It’s an incredible honor that this program was chosen by the Alliance for Women in Media to be the recipient of a Gracie Award!”

The Gracie Award promotes programming created for women, by women and about women, as well as individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the industry. Ms. Hessel won in the Outstanding Portrait/Biography category, and will accept her award at the annual Gracies Luncheon on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 at Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Sara Hessel earned her master’s degree in historical musicology from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1999. She has been employed as Music Director of KMFA-FM, Classical 89.5 in Austin, Texas since 2005. As producer and host of KMFA’s Ancient Voices, she has interviewed numerous early-music superstars, including Dame Emma Kirkby, Ton Koopman, Gustav Leonhardt, Jordi Savall and Anonymous 4. Ancient Voices was named a Critics Pick in the Austin Chronicle’s “Best of Austin” issue in 2010.

KMFA’s General Manager Joan Kobayashi says, “KMFA is proud to be part of the production and broadcast of this important programming, and congratulates Ms. Hessel for receiving this well-deserved award.”

The Gracie Awards benefits the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, a charitable non-profit. For more information about the Gracie Awards, please visit

~posted by Alison @ KMFA 🙂

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