About

Short biography

KileWRTIHeadShot500Kile Smith’s music is praised by critics and audiences for its emotional power, direct appeal, and strong voice. Gramophone hailed the “sparkling beauty” of his music, calling Vespers “spectacular.” The Philadelphia Inquirer called it “ecstatically beautiful,” American Record Guide, “a major new work,” Audiophile Audition, “easily one of the best releases of the year of any type… a crime to pass up,” and Fanfare, “a magnificent achievement.”

Recent commissions include Red-tail and Hummingbird for Orchestra 2001 and Piffaro, The Red Book of Montserrat for the Philadelphia Sinfonia, The Waking Sun and Where Flames a Word for The Crossing, the song cycle Plain Truths (baritone, chorus, and string quartet) for the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, The Nobility of Women for Mélomanie, and the Mass for Philadelphia by the Association of Anglican Musicians. Current commissions include Two Meditations on Freu dich sehr for organist Alan Morrison, a work for the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, anthems, and a new work for orchestra. He’s composed for Concertmaster David Kim and Principal Horn Jennifer Montone of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Kile is Composer in Residence for The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia.

Kile also hosts Now Is the TimeDiscoveries from the Fleisher Collection, and is a classical host at WRTI-FM, writes for the Broad Street Review and WRTI, and teaches. Kile was Curator of the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music, the world’s largest lending library of orchestral performance materials, at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Biography

kilesitting20092.jpgGramophone hails the “sparkling beauty” of the music of Kile Smith (b.1956), calling Vespers “spectacular.” The Philadelphia Inquirer called it “ecstatically beautiful,” American Record Guide, “a major new work,” Audiophile Audition, “easily one of the best releases of the year of any type… a crime to pass up,” and Fanfare, “a magnificent achievement.” Critics and audiences praise the emotional power, direct appeal, and strong voice of his works.

Recent commissions include Red-tail and Hummingbird for Orchestra 2001 and Piffaro, The Red Book of Montserrat for the Philadelphia Sinfonia, The Waking Sun and Where Flames a Word for The Crossing, the song cycle Plain Truths for the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, The Nobility of Women for Mélomanie, and the Mass for Philadelphia by the Association of Anglican Musicians.

He’s composed for Concertmaster David Kim and Principal Horn Jennifer Montone of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Current commissions include Two Meditations on Freu dich sehr for organist Alan Morrison, a work for the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, anthems, and a new work for orchestra. Kile is Composer in Residence for The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Inquirer called the “immediately identifiable personality” of his music “breathtaking,” listing the premiere of Vespers as one of the “Top Ten” concerts of the year. The Buffalo News called it “altogether gorgeous and haunting,” and the Philadelphia City Paper raved that it is “almost preternaturally beautiful.” Audiophile Audition pronounced it “a masterpiece of the deepest kind… Seldom do I come across a piece with such profoundly direct emotional appeal.”

Other recent premieres are Two Laudate Psalms for Lyric Fest and the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, and Now ys the tyme of Crystymas by the Virginia Chorale. Ensemble Epomeo has performed his string quartet The Best of All Possible Worlds, string trios Thrice Blest and No, Not One, and the children’s piece The Bremen Town Musicians. The Gaines/French Duo (soprano saxophone, piano) commissioned This Broad Land and The Better Angels of Our Nature. Vespers and Where Flames a Word are available on the Navona label.

Many orchestras have performed Kile’s music, including the Delaware, Grand Rapids, Philadelphia Classical, and Jackson (Tenn.) symphonies, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra, and the Sofia, Sofia Youth, and Shumen State Philharmonics of Bulgaria. His works have been played by Network for New Music, Latin Fiesta, and the Ocean City Pops.

Among his awards are a grant from the Philadelphia Music Project, a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Composer Fellowship, and grants from Meet The Composer and the Argosy Foundation. Temple University (2011) and Cairn University (2012) have both honored him as “Alumnus of the Year.”

Kile composes full-time, when he isn’t hosting the contemporary American music program Now Is the Time, co-hosting Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, and classical hosting on-air at Philadelphia’s WRTI-FM. He is a Contributing Editor to the arts and culture magazine Broad Street Review, and writes and reviews for WRTI. For 18 years Kile was Curator of the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music, the world’s largest lending library of orchestral performance materials, at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Kile is on the adjunct faculty of Cairn University, teaching composition, advanced orchestration, and post-1900 music history. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, soprano Jacqueline Smith, and their daughters.

Selected Commissions

kilestandingshadow20093.jpgAbington Presbyterian Church, Abington, Pa.
Association of Anglican Musicians
Auricolae
Cairn University
The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia
The Crossing
Thomas Elliott, trombone
Emilie United Methodist Church, Levittown, Pa.
Ensemble Epomeo
First Presbyterian Church, Phoenixville, Pa.
Gaines/French Duo
Gerard Manley Hopkins Centenary Conference
William Ghezzi, guitar
Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Abington, Pa.
John Ilika, trombone
The Jupiter Symphony
Latin Fiesta
Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra
Lyric Fest
Mélomanie
Musicopia
Network for New Music
Newburyport Chamber Music Festival
Orchestra 2001
Pennsylvania Girlchoir
Philadelphia Classical Symphony
Philadelphia Guitar Ensemble
Piffaro, The Renaissance Band
Pottstown Symphony Orchestra
St. Eleanor Church, Collegeville, Pa.
St. Joseph’s University
Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra
Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia
Ursinus College
The Westminster Brass

Recordings

American Spirituals, Book One, David Kim, The Lord Is My Shepherd, Paul Jones  Music
American Spirituals, Book Two, Anne Martindale Williams, Sacred Music for Cello, Paul Jones Music
Four French Carols, The Westminster Brass, Christmas Celebration
Great is Thy Faithfulness, The Westminster Brass, Great Hymns of the Faith, Vol. 2
Penmaen Pool, Nancy Ellen Ogle, An Evening with Gerard Manley Hopkins, Capstone
A Song of Sonia Sanchez, Latin Fiesta, Amor a la Vida
“Veni Sancte Spiritus” from Vespers, Fine Music, Vol. 1, Navona
Vespers, Piffaro, The Crossing, Donald Nally, Navona
Where Flames a Word, The Crossing, It is Time, Navona

Publishers

Hildegard Publishing Company, Inc.
Edwin F. Kalmus & Co., Inc.
Paul Jones Music
Prairie Dawg Press
Tau Imprints
Theodore Presser Company
Westminster Brass Publications

Associations

American Composers Forum
ASCAP
Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia, Board

Photos by Abu Tilghman

5 thoughts on “About

    1. Kile Smith Post author

      Thanks, Robert, but the entire quote offers me perspective. In my chariot, my assistant keeps whispering in my ear: “almost.” Veni, vidi…!,
      Kile

  1. Pingback: Music of H. Leslie Adams, Michael Colgrass, Christopher Theofanidis, and more – on Kile Smith’s Saturday evening radio program, Nov. 9th | SINGER-SONGWRITER-TODAY

  2. Byron Marshall

    Are you the author of the notes on the 2000 naxos “American Classics” recording of the Santa Claus Symphony and other works by William Henry Fry?

    If so, do you have an email address where I could communicate with you further?

    Thanks,

    Byron Marshall
    Byron@mcritters.com

    Reply

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