Jean Rife continues to enjoy a varied, interesting, and challenging musical career. Early in her professional life, she joined in the developing Early Music movement, joining the newly-formed Smithsonian Chamber players in Washington, D.C., and Boston Baroque (at the time, Banchetto Musicale), the longest standing Baroque orchestra in the United States. She gave solo recitals and concertos on modern and natural horn, was engaged to teach chamber music at MIT, and frequently performed on modern horn in Boston and greater New England, and on eighteenth century horn in Boston, New York, and other locations in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. In the last several years she has taken up serious study of piano and harpsichord, and gives occasional recitals, including a recent pair of recitals of all six Partitas by J.S. Bach. Jean is also a certified yoga teacher, a practice she has incorporated into her playing and teaching.

Horn Performance highlights

  • Natural horn winner of the International Heldenleben Horn Competition, 1978
  • Guest Soloist at International Horn Workshops in US, Germany, and Japan
  • Guest Artist, Women’s Brass Workshop
  • Recitalist and Clinician at such places as Oberlin Conservatory, Indiana University, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Virginia Technical Institute, Southern Methodist University, Iowa State University
  • Natural horn highlights: Concertos by Mozart, Haydn, Telemann; Mass in B minor and Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 with orchestras in the U.S., Germany, Canada, and South America
  • Modern horn highlights: premieres of Tryptich for Solo Horn and Horn Trio, both by Martin Pearlman, Suite for Four Horns by John Harbison, and HornTrio by Yehudi Wyner; Horn soloist in the premiere Michael Weinstein's Four Songs on Poems of George Meredith for Chorus, Horn & Piano in Jordan Hall, and Roman Odes in Kresge Auditorium at MIT
  • Past Principal horn with Boston Baroque, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Cantata Singers


  • HornTrio by Yehudi Wyner; Yehudi Wyner, piano, James Buswell, Bridge Records
  • On This Most Voluptuous Night by Yehudi Wyner; Yehudi Wyner, conductor; Bridge Records
  • Mass in B minor by J. S. Bach; Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman, conductor; Telarc Records
  • Brandenburg Concerto #1 by J.S. Bach, Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman, conductor; Telarc Records
  • Solo Music for Natural Horn. Works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Ferdinand Ries, Franz Joseph Haydn; Martin Pearlman, fortepiano, Daniel Stepner, violin, Fortunato Arico, cello; Titanic Records
  • Cantata 128, Complete Cantatas by J. S. Bach; Leonhardt Ensemble; Telefunken Records
  • Various Solo Works with Martin Pearlman, fortepiano; BBC, London, Radio Suisse Romande, Geneva, WGBH Radio, Boston

Keyboard Study

  • Piano minor, Oberlin Conservatory; study with Emil Danenburg and Marvin Blickenstaff
  • Taubman Institute with Robert Durso, Yoriko Fieleke and Teresa Dybvig, eight years
  • Harpsichord study with Peter Sykes, 2004-present

Current Faculty

  • Lecturer in Music at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; chamber music coach, leader of wind sectionals for orchestra, and horn instructor
  • Assistant Chair for Woodwinds, Brass, & Percussion and Chamber Music Coach, New England Conservatory of Music

Past Faculty

  • Founding faculty at Barry Tuckwell Institute
  • Longy School of Music
  • Kendall Betts Horn Camp
  • University of New Hampshire

B.M., Oberlin College; A.L.M., Harvard University; studies at Boston University. Recordings on Telarc, Telefunken, Bridge, Titanic, Harmonia Mundi, Arabesque, BBC Radio, and Radio Suisse Romande. Lecturer at MIT, faculty at Longy School of Music, Chamber Music Conference and Composers' Forum of the East, Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music.