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Historical Piano Concerts Series
About the Musicians

The Smith Chamber Ensemble


Joel Pitchon, violin

Monica Jakuc, piano

Volcy Pelletier, 'cello

Joel Pitchon, violinist, is an Associate Professor of violin and chamber music at Smith College.  A graduate of The Juilliard School, Mr. Pitchon studied with both Oscar Shumsky and Joseph Fuchs.  He was a founding member of the Medici String Quartet (U.S.) and the Wave Hill Piano Trio, resident ensemble of the Toscanini estate in Riverdale, New York. Mr. Pitchon is currently a member of the Forster String Trio and The Smith Chamber Ensemble. He has been concertmaster of numerous orchestras including the Jupiter Symphony, Musica Aeterna, New York Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, the Barcelona  Symphony Orchestra (Spain), the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, and the EOS Chamber Orchestra. For his performance in Stravinsky’s L’histoire du Soldat with the EOS Chamber Orchestra the New York Times wrote “…superb playing by Joel Pitchon…”. Mr. Pitchon has performed in many concerts in the US and abroad with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.  He has appeared in numerous radio and television broadcasts and has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Vox Cum Laude, Musical Heritage Society, and Columbia Masterworks.

Monica Jakuc (pronounced Ya-kutch) is the Elsie Irwin Sweeney Professor of Music at Smith College, where she has taught since 1969. She has toured as solo and chamber music player on three continents, and is an active member of the Smith Chamber Ensemble.  Ms. Jakuc also delivers lecture-recitals on women composers and has been a featured artist at International Association of Women in Music concerts in London and Washington, D.C.  Inspired by Malcolm Bilson, Ms. Jakuc has performed on early pianos since 1986. She was an organizer and performer at the international HaydnFest 1990, co-sponsored by Smith and the Westfield Center for Early Keyboard Studies. A frequent guest performer with Arcadia Players, Pioneer Valley’s premier early music ensemble, she often features her 6½ – octave Paul McNulty Graf replica in Schubert concerts. This is her sixth appearance on the Historical Piano Concerts Series since 1986.  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 new CD, “Fantasies for Fortepiano,” will be released this spring.

A native of Paris, France, ’cellist Marie-Volcy Pelletier won a Fulbright Scholarship to study with Bernard Greenhouse, former ’cellist of the Beaux Arts Trio, at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA, where she received her Graduate Diploma. Ms. Pelletier has been the Acting Principal ’Cello of the Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona in Spain and the Bournemouth Sinfonietta in the UK. She also frequently participated in concerts of the London Symphony Orchestra. Volcy Pelletier has been featured in chamber music and solo recitals on both sides of the Atlantic. She has frequently performed at the Salo de Cent concerts in Barcelona Spain, as well as having been a founding member of the Concert Players string trio in London and the Kinor String Quartet in New York. She was a member of the Laurentian String Quartet, in residence at Sarah Lawrence College. Most recently she has been heard in concerts with the faculty of Smith College, in Northampton, MA, and has performed at the Monadnock Music Festival in New Hampshire. Ms. Pelletier is a member of the Forster Trio.  Recognized as a highly effective teacher, Ms. Pelletier serves on the faculty of the Greenwood Music Camp and has taught the ’cello as an adjunct instructor at Smith College.