Kelley Savage

"Kelly Savage...provided deft accompaniment." —The New York Times


  • First Year Musicianship
  • Second Year Musicianship
  • First Year Music Theory
  • Second Year Music Theory
  • Score Reading at the Piano
  • Keyboard Harmony
  • Keyboard Literature: Baroque


  • DMA, Stony Brook University
  • MM, Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music
  • MA, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • BM, University of Wisconsin, Madison


  • Opera Feroce
  • SIREN Baroque
  • Stanford Community Chorus


  • Director, Stanford Community Chorus

What is your hometown?

Madison, WI

What is your favorite recording?

Glenn Gould: The Goldberg Variations; Bob Dylan: Blood on the Tracks

What are you passionate about outside of music?


Who were your major teachers?

Arthur Haas, Barbara Weiss, and John C. Stowe.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

"In theory, there is no difference between practice and theory. In practice, there is."
—Yogi Berra

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

I think it was gradual. I entered college very serious about music, but not thinking I would major in it; by about sophomore year I was hooked! My high school years playing violin and piano with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra, lessons with my high school piano teacher Julie Welbourne, as well as starting harpsichord lessons in college, were all pivotal.

What was a turning point in your career?

My years freelancing in NYC were amazing and showed me what cutting-edge and creative projects I could be a part of as a harpsichordist.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

I could see myself as a visual artist, perhaps an architect, illustrator, or painter.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

J.S. Bach, F. Couperin, and W.A. Mozart.

From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you?

As a harpsichordist, I've spent a lot of time thinking about and imagining the musical scene in Leipzig in the 1720s. Bach was in his prime and was composing sometimes as much as a cantata a week for the city's churches. I've also recently been looking into virtuosic vocal music composed by nuns in Milan around 1650. The nuns' musical lives and creative compositions are fascinating to me.

What are your most important collaborations?

The musicians in my New York-based chamber groups, SIREN Baroque and Opera Feroce, are my closest collaborators. Both groups are collaborative ensembles of singers and instrumentalists who, in addition to performing together, act as our own costume designers, edition makers, lighting designers, librettists, and administrators. I'm also proud of my collaboration with my husband, Sharad Goel, to create Partifi, an online part-making tool for musicians.

What is your unrealized project?

My next project is to start up a new baroque chamber group in the Bay Area.


Kelly Savage has been praised by the New York Times for her “deft accompaniment.” She is the artistic director of SIREN Baroque, and is a founding member of the New York opera company Opera Feroce. She enjoys an active performing schedule as a continuo player and solo harpsichordist. Ms. Savage specializes in innovative productions of baroque operas and pastiches, in collaboration with groups such as Morningside Opera, Company XIV, and Vertical Players Repertory. With SIREN Baroque she researches and performs the music of baroque women composers. Recent projects have included “Women in Exile” featuring the music of Antonia Bembo, and  “Suore” featuring music from the convents of seventeenth-century Europe. In addition to teaching theory, musicianship, score reading and keyboard harmony at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she founded and directs the Stanford Community Chorus, and is the music director at Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco. Ms. Savage holds a doctorate from Stony Brook University, where she studied with Arthur Haas and holds masters degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Wisconsin—Madison. She co-created Partifi, a popular online part-making tool for musicians.