About The Heida
Heida Hermanns: The Legacy
Heida Hermanns, the founder of the Connecticut Alliance for Music, Inc. (CAM), was a pianist, teacher and philanthropist. She was born in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1906 and received her first piano lessons from her mother. At the age of 15, she enrolled at the Berlin Hochschule fur Musik. Her teachers included Egon Petri, Artur Schnabel, Carl Friedberg and Isabella Vengerova. She made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic at age 18 and toured Europe as a recitalist and concerto soloist through the 1920s and early 1930s.
Heida Hermanns immigrated to the United States in 1936 and made her New York debut at Town Hall in 1942. In the late 1940s, she moved to Connecticut and helped start the Friends of Music, an organization that presented chamber music concerts. Ms. Hermanns was also a founder of Performers of Connecticut that arranged performance opportunities for young musicians and sponsored the Heida Hermanns Young Performers Competition, known today as the Heida Hermanns International Music Competition. As audiences and memberships grew, the name was changed to Connecticut Alliance for Music, Inc.
Heida Hermanns Memoir
Read Heida’s life story as told to Joanna Foster in 1991. Follow Heida from her earliest days in Germany, through the turbulent early 30’s, her journey to the United States, and finally to Westport, CT. Throughout her life she was a pianist, teacher and philanthropist.
Who we are
Director of the Heida Competition
Concert Curator at MoCA Westport
Artistic Advisor for Heida 2022
Distinguished American Pianist and Scholar of Music by Nathaniel Dett
How to get here
Westport is a coastal town located on Long Island Sound in Fairfield County, Connecticut, 55 miles northeast of New York City and 60 miles south of Hartford. Two major thoroughfares travel through the town: Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway (Route 15). Westport is one of many stops on Metro-North Railroad, which provides rail service from New York City (Grand Central Station) to New Haven.
- Metro-North Railroad: Service from/to Grand Central Station to Westport runs regularly (approximately one train per hour, depending on day and time). The ride is approximately 60 minutes and the cost, again, varies depending day and time (peak or off-peak times). For schedule and fare information, visit: http://as0.mta.info/mnr/schedules/sched_form.cfm
- Amtrak: Regularly scheduled service into Bridgeport (next town over to the north) or Stamford (18 miles south). Both Bridgeport and Stamford have Metro-North Railroad service. For schedule and fare information, visit: http://www.amtrak.com/home
- Airports: There are several major airports within a 60-mile radius of Fairfield, all having car rental agencies on-site:
- New York – LaGuardia (LGA), Kennedy (JFK) and Westchester County (HPN)
- Connecticut – Bradley (BDL)
Where to stay
There is a limited number of “host housing” available for those coming from a distance of more than 60 miles. Here are our suggested hotels for guests accompanying the finalist.
The Inn at Longshore
The Inn at Longshore by OnTheMarc is located on the Saugatuck River Inlet in Westport, CT on the grounds of the Longshore Club Park. The stunning 169-acre parcel is outfitted with beautiful landscaping by land and sea, including a gorgeous tree-lined entrance. The Inn offers twelve graciously appointed guestrooms and suites. Whether in town for business, an event or a weekend getaway, The Inn is a relaxing and quaint option for the Westport area. Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, cable flat screen TVs, premium bed linens, air conditioning, beach towels, mini-bar and more.
DELAMAR Southport beckons you into a world of luxury in beautiful Southport, Connecticut. Only an hour and a half from midtown Manhattan, you will find the intimate, polished service of a fine boutique hotel, surrounded by the ambiance of classic New England hospitality at its best. Carefully curated, each of our 43 guestrooms and suites were designed with unparalleled luxury and distinctive charm. Our intimate size allows us to offer special attention to each guest, hand selecting the most appropriate guestroom or suite for your clients or your own getaway in Fairfield County.