Professor Kelly was born in Greensboro, NC in 1943. He attended Groton School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (A. B. 1964). Two years in France on a Fulbright grant allowed him to study organ with Jean Langlais, and to take degrees at the Schola Cantorum in Paris (diplôme de virtuosité 1966) and the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM 1964). His graduate study was at Harvard (A. M. 1970, PhD 1973)His most recent book is Capturing Music (Norton, 2015); he is the author of First Nights: Five Performance Premieres (Yale, translated into Korean and Chinese), and Early Music: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, translated into German and Hungarian). His book The Beneventan Chant (Cambridge) was awarded the Otto Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society for 1989; an Italian translation was published in 2017.He is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres of the French Republic and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Mediaeval Academy of America, and the American Academy in Rome. He has held awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. He received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005, and an honorary Doctorate in 2017. He is an honorary citizen of the city of Benevento (Italy).