Piano Concerts Series
About the Musicians
J. Kelley, horns Lisa Rautenberg, violin
Monica Jakuc Leverett, piano
R.J. Kelley is recognized as America's foremost player of horns of every historical era, from the hunting horn of the Baroque through today's super-mechanized triple horn. With a particular interest in the 'golden age' of the horn-- about 1750 to 1890-- Kelley has established an expertise of both technical and stylistic rarity.
As co-founder and artistic director of the unique ensemble Universal Piston, Kelley has restored to life the formerly extinct sound of the mid-19th century horn quartet. He has also performed the monumental Horn Trio of Johannes Brahms as invited recitalist of the International Horn Society, playing the valveless instrument of Brahms' intent. Schumann's ground-breaking Adagio and Allegro was presented at Albert Fuller's Helicon Society, on the early piston-valved horn for which it was conceived. And in Spring of '09, Kelley was presented in recital with pianist Seth Carlin, by the Kingsbury Consort of St. Louis. The program included both valved and 'natural' horns, in repertoire including Beethoven's Sonata in F, von Krufft's Sonata in E, and Schubert's stunningly poetic Auf dem Strom.
When not engaged in historical performance, Kelley is a regular guest with the New York Philharmonic, American Ballet Theater, Orchestra of St. Luke's, New York City Ballet, Mostly Mozart Festival, and many other top orchestras. He is also solo horn of Manhattan Brass, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, the Englewinds, Hora Decima, the Portland (OR) Baroque Orchestra, Mercury Baroque (Houston), the Texas Camarata (Ft. Worth).
His recording of Mozart's complete Concerti for Horn (with the Orchestra of the Old Fairfield Academy), performed on an Austro-Bohemian natural horn with hand-hammered sterling mouthpiece, has received high praise, and is but one of more than seventy CDs recorded by Kelley.
Education in the rich musical and cultural legacy of the horn is also a priority, as Kelley has presented lectures and demonstrations at Yale, Rutgers, the University of Montana, the International Horn Symposium, San Jose State University, as well as others. He has also provided pre-concert lectures at nearly every venue at which he has appeared, and which give the audience an instant understanding of the more mysterious techniques required, and their resultant aesthetic conclusions.
Violinist Lisa Rautenberg performs and records widely as a soloist and chamber musician. She gave her New York City solo debut with Concert Royale at the Mostly Mozart Festival in Alice Tully Hall, and performed her New York City recital debut in Merkin Hall playing virtuoso masters for the baroque violin. Lisa can be heard on over 100 recordings on labels such as Champignon International, SONY Classical, Virgin Classics, Newport Classics, MCA, Decca, Nonesuch, Telarc, and Deutsche Grammophone. She has performed concertos in many major American and European concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center, Orchestra Hall Chicago, Boston Symphony Hall, Hercules Hall, Concertgebouw, and BBC London. Lisa is Associate Concertmaster of the Hartford Symphony and Leader of Fanfare Consort. She has often performed with Arcadia Players. She holds a degree with distinction in violin performance from Indiana University, where she was a student of Josef Gingold, and also studied early violin techniques with Marilyn McDonald.
Jakuc is the Elsie Irwin Sweeney Professor of Music at Smith College,
where she has taught since 1969. She has played on three continents
and championed the music of women composers. Inspired by Malcolm Bilson,
Ms. Jakuc has performed on early pianos since 1986, the year of her first
appearance on the Historical Piano Concerts Series. She was an organizer
and performer at the international HaydnFest 1990, co-sponsored by Smith
and the Westfield Center for Early Keyboard Studies. A member of
the board, she is a frequent guest performer with Arcadia Players, Pioneer
Valley’s early music ensemble, and often features her 6 1/2 –octave Paul
McNulty Graf replica in Schubert concerts. Ms. Jakuc's discography includes
fortepiano sonatas by Marianne von Martinez, Marianna von Auenbrugger,
and Joseph Haydn on Titanic Records, and Francesca LeBrun's complete Opus
1 Sonatas for fortepiano and violin, with Dana Maiben, on Dorian Discovery.
Her newest CD, “Fantasies for Fortepiano,” features works by Mozart, Haydn,
C.P.E. Bach, and Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata. It is available
on cdbaby.com. Married in 2006 to Robert T. Leverett, a well-known expert
on old growth trees, Monica Jakuc Leverett will retire from the faculty
of Smith College in June 2008, after 39 years of service.