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THOMAS FORREST KELLY teaches at Harvard, where his popular course “First Nights” is the inspiration for this series. He lectures at the Smithsonian and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He received his B.A. from Chapel Hill, and spent two years on a Fulbright in France studying musicology, chant, and organ. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard (1973). He has taught at Wellesley, Smith, Amherst, and at Oberlin, where he directed the Historical Performance Program and served as acting Dean of the Conservatory. He was named a Harvard College Professor in 2000 and the Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music in 2001.
Professor Kelly’s main fields of interest are medieval music and original performance practice. He won the Otto Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society for The Beneventan Chant (Cambridge University Press, 1989). His most recent books are First Nights: Five Musical Premieres (Yale University Press, 2000) and First Nights at the Opera (Yale, 2004).