Monica and Scott Wheeler

Monica and Scott Wheeler

Morningside

Morningside: A Portrait of Monica Jakuc  (2007) (commissioned by Smith College in honor of her retirement) - Live performance 2008.

To write this portrait of Monica Jakuc, I visited her home on Morningside Drive in Florence, Massachusetts, not far from Smith College, where I was her piano student throughout my undergraduate career. (I was down the road at Amherst College, where as a freshman I had signed up for lessons and had the blind good luck to be assigned to Monica’s studio at Smith.) The morning of my visit was bright and sunny; we sat in her music room, which is dominated by two fortepianos and a modern Bösendorfer. The room reminded me of Monica’s connection to the classical keyboard tradition; at the same time, I was aware of her connection to the natural beauty surrounding her home in the woods. Above all, I was aware of the profoundly expressive musicality that Monica has shared with me and with so many students, colleagues, and audience members.

This piece is written to be played on a fortepiano including a high G. To be played on a more traditional early fortepiano, the piece can be transposed down a step. It should also sound fine on a modern piano.

The portrait was commissioned by the Smith College Music Department, with the premiere scheduled at the February 2008 recital of Monica Jakuc, on the occasion of her retirement.

Scott Wheeler
August, 2007