The American pianist and author, Janice Weber, was a precocious musical talent, making her debut at age 12 with the orchestra at New York's Town Hall. Her New York recital debut, performed under the pseudonym Lily von Ballmoos, was an early indication of the eclecticism and fluency for which she has become known. She studied with a number of teachers and musicians, such as Cecile Genhart, Walter Hendel, Jose Echaniz, and Eugene List. Weber graduated summa cum laude from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where she studied with Cécile Genhart and Eugene List. Following graduation, she continued her studies in New York with Nadia Reisenberg and was a fellowship student at Tanglewood for two summers.
Janice Weber has appeared with the American Composers Orchestra, Boston Civic Symphony, Boston Pops Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, New Hampshire Symphony, Hilton Head Orchestra, Sarajevo Philharmonic, Sarasota Pops, and Syracuse Symphony in concertos of Hanson, Sowerby, Stenhammar, Leonard Bernstein, and Leroy Anderson as well as the standard repertoire. Her solo performances have been at the White House, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Weill Hall, National Gallery of Art, Boston’s Symphony Hall, the 92nd Street Y, and Merkin Hall. She has performed at the Bard, Newport, La Gesse, Husum, and Monadnock summer festivals. Internationally, she has appeared in Yugoslavia, Turkey, and the Baltic States under the auspices of the US Information Service. At the invitation of the American Liszt Society, she has twice toured China presenting recitals and master classes.
Her interest in the uncommon avenues of the piano literature led to a world premiere recording of Franz Liszt’s 1838 Transcendental Etudes. Time Magazine wrote, “Liszt later simplified these pieces into the still ferociously difficult Transcendental Etudes (1852 version) for fear that no one else could play them. There may now be several fire-eating piano virtuosos who can execute the original notes, but few can liberate the prophetic music they contain as masterfully as Janice Weber does here.”
Janice Weber’s eclectic recordings include Sergei Rachmaninov’s complete transcriptions (IMP); with the Lydian Quartet, Leo Ornstein’s vast Piano Quintet (New World Records); flute and piano works of Sigfrid Karg-Elert; and waltz transcriptions of Leopold Godowsky, Rosenthal, and Ignaz Friedman (IMP). For VAI, Weber recorded Franz Liszt’s last Hungarian Rhapsody, one of only two living pianists to be included in a compendium of historic performances by 19 artists. This recording subsequently won the International Liszt Prize. Her Naxos recording of Leo Ornstein's radical works in June 2002 introduced the charismatic composer to a worldwide audience and received to significant acclaim in both the American and European press. She is heard in Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time on Ongaku Records and her newest disc, “Cascade of Roses” (Dorian Sono Luminus),features works of 21 composers from Adolf Jensen to Billy Mayerl.
Janice Weber is a member of the piano faculty at the Boston Conservatory and the Boston Conservatory Chamber Players. She is a contributor to the Musical Times (London), Clavier, and other music publications. She has been an adjudicator for the National Endowment for the Arts and has served on juries for the Gilmore Foundation, the American Piano Association, the Boston Amateur Pianists Competition, and the Hilton Head International Competition. Weber produced the tones for Ivory, the worldwide bestselling virtual piano software.
Janice Weber has a second career as a writer of fiction. Her first book, The Secret Life of Eva Hathaway was released in 1985. Weber's books are noted for their bawdy, dark humor and their female protagonists. Her second book was Customs Violations (1991). The books have spanned different genres, from romantic comedy (The Secret Life of Eva Hathaway) to a culinary murder mystery (Devil's Food (1996). As a writer, Weber has perhaps received the most attention for her books about the Bond-esque female spy Leslie Frost, Frost the Fiddler (1994) and its sequel Hot Ticket (1998). Nearly all of her books contain, at some point, a reference to the world of classic music; in the Frost books, the music world is central to the plot. Frost the Fiddler (St. Martin’s Press) was chosen a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. She has written two screenplays and her 6th novel is School of Fortune (2007).
Janice Weber lives with her husband, John Newton, a recording engineer, in Boston, MA. She is a Steinway artist.