Kelly Horsted

“Gifted and versatile,” pianist Kelly Horsted, is a native of Sioux City, Iowa, and enjoys an active career in NYC as an accompanist, music director and vocal coach specializing in new opera, art song, and role preparation.

An enthusiast of new music, Kelly enjoys a long standing relationship with the Brooklyn based company American Opera Projects. He has been a co-music director for AOP’s Composers and the Voice series since 2006. He participated as a music director in The Stonewall Operas, and The Fort Greene Park Operas, collaborations between AOP and the Advanced Opera Lab at the NYU Tisch School, headed by Randall Eng and Sam Helfrich. Other AOP engagements have included the premiere of Beauty Intolerable : A Songbook based on the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Sheila Silver with singers Deanne Meek, and Risa Renae Harman at Symphony Space, performances of Tarik O'Regan's Heart of Darkness and music direction for several readings of Paula Kimper's opera, The Bridge of San Luis Rey. He assisted preparing the cast of Patience and Sarah for the chamber opera's premiere at the Lincoln Center Festival. Kelly was a part of the first semi-staged workshop of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, by Hershel Garfein directed by Mark Morris.





Kelly was music director for readings of Mark of Cain with Center for Contemporary Opera's Atelier Series. A frequent collaborator with Chelsea Opera, Kelly was part of the artistic team performing Glory Denied by Tom Cipullo, returning to the piece as part of the preparation staff for Urban Arias. His other Chelsea Opera projects have included The Medium and On Rosenstrasse. Kelly was pleased to perform on the 20th Anniversary concert for Friends and Enemies of New Music featuring  Baritone Chris Pedro Trakas and works by Adams, Bolcom and Yarmolinsky. Other contemporary music performances have included Vector 5, Cutting Edge Music, Downtown Music Productions, Five Words in a Line and the Guggenheim Museum's Works and Process series.


An active performer, Kelly was music director and conductor for Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men, Schoenberg’s Erwartung and Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd at Madison Lyric Stage, directed by Marc Deaton. As pianist he joined Deaton for his original mono-drama,  We Lived Only for the Music : Max Lorenz and the Third Reich, and Hotel Fables: Episodes in a life, and Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. Kelly is a frequent collaborator with Mid-America Productions including performances at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium. He performed works by Randolph Coleman and Carlisle Floyd at Zankel Hall with Remarkable Theater Brigade. Kelly participated in the Wintergreen Festival under Stephen Osgood, where his performances included Respighi's adaptation of Monteverdi's Orfeo as well as two Liederabends. Kelly was assistant conductor for Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore at New Jersey Opera Theatre and pianist for Menotti's The Medium and Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci with Opera Company of Brooklyn. He spent two years as a faculty member at Intermezzo Opera as assistant conductor for L'Enfant et les Sortileges, in West Palm Beach, Florida, under the baton of J. David Jackson and as head coach for performances of Mark Adamo's opera, Little Women under the baton of Steven Osgood at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Mr. Horsted was music director for performances of Cosi fan Tutte at Merkin Concert Hall with director Janet Bookspan, and for Harrisburg, PA's Opera in the Park. He performed at Wall to Wall Bernstein at Symphony Space. Kelly was music director and a founding member of the New York based opera company TheCoOperative for six years. Kelly performed community outreach programs regularly as part of Trinity Church's Concerts to Go, Concerts in Motion, and as music director of La Piccola Opera with Arts Horizons. On the lighter side, Kelly enjoys a regular relationship with the Long Island Concert Pops under the direction of Dean Karahalis, and is often featured as a soloist with the group. 


Kelly’s recording with Baritone Robert Barefield on Albany records Light Enough, featuring works by David Conte and premieres by Sandra D’Ercole, Larry Alan Smith and Scott Wheeler has received extensive critical acclaim. He can also be heard on selections from the Opera America Songbook. 


Dedicated to the development of singers and musicians, Kelly has been a frequent thesis project collaborator at NYU's Tisch Graduate Musical Theater Program. Kelly was faculty member at Ann Baltz's ground breaking Operaworks training program in California for seven summers. Kelly was a faculty member of the Queens Summer Vocal Institute directed by Sherry Overholt. As a visiting lecturer, Kelly music directed Hunter College's flagship mixed bill, The Sisters of Nikolas Flagello and M. Choufleuri of Offenbach. Kelly was an Artist / Teacher at the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT. As a coach at the Mannes College of Music, he served as music director for performances of Ned Rorem's Three Sisters Who Are Not Sisters, and Mozart’s Zauberflöte. Kelly was a staff accompanist at the International Workshops in Graz, Austria, and at the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival in Brunswick, Maine. Mr. Horsted is a current faculty member at Queens College, Adelphi University and at Five Towns College, in Dix Hills, New York where he serves on the voice, theater and techniques of music faculty. 


Mr. Horsted’s other notable performances include appearances at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and the prestigious Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, as well as Fountainbleau, France and NBC's Weekend Today Show. He earned both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Eastman School of Music, where he was a fellowship recipient and 1st place winner in the Kneisel Lieder Competition.


"Kelly Horsted's sensitive piano-playing exemplified the intimate and searching tone of the production." OPERA NEWS


“Particularly impressive here is Kelly Horsted’s incredibly musical pianism on the back of a technique that enables the most liquid of scales.” Fanfare Magazine

Beautifully and enigmatically rendered by Horsted.” Fanfare Magazine