Photo: Walter B. Denny
Arcadia Players embraces historical performance practice to illuminate and invigorate the great Western heritage of vocal and instrumental music.
It is a professional ensemble of musicians founded in 1989 by Margaret Irwin-Brandon. Currently under the direction of renowned keyboardist and conductor Ian Watson, the group presents a series of concerts each year in two communities in western Massachusetts (Northampton and South Hadley), performing opera, orchestral and choral repertoire, including highly acclaimed performances of Handel's Messiah. Arcadia Players also regularly collaborates with vocal ensembles throughout New England, as well as appearing with the Connecticut Early Music Festival.
Arcadia Players is in residence at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Monica Jakuc Leverett is a member of its board of directors, and frequently appears with the group as a fortepiano concerto soloist in works by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. As part of an ongoing project to perform all the Beethoven symphonies and all the Beethoven piano concerti, in the 20th season she played the Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto with them under the direction of Ian Watson. The 21st season featured her performing Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto on her Paul McNulty copy of a Walter design fortepiano, and in the 22nd season she played Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto.Monica Jakuc Leverett has appeared as fortepianst in numerous chamber concerts and house concerts at different times with Lisa Rautenberg, violin; Alice Robbins, cello; Kivie Cahn-Lipman, cello; Christopher Krueger, flute; Geoffrey Burgess, oboe; Owen Watkins, clarinet; Todd Williams, horn; Susan Black, bassoon; and Peter W. Shea, tenor.