Kile is Composer in Residence for Lyric Fest, the Helena Symphony, and the Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. His 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 The Consolation of Apollo, The Waking Sun, and Where Flames a Word for The Crossing, the cello concerto And Seeing the Multitudes for Ovidiu Marinescu and the Helena Symphony, the song cycles In This Blue Room for Lyric Fest and Plain Truths for the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, Red-tail and Hummingbird for Orchestra 2001 and Piffaro, The Red Book of Montserrat for the Philadelphia Sinfonia, and The Nobility of Women for Mélomanie. He’s also recently completed commissions for the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, the Association of Anglican Musicians, Cairn University, organist Alan Morrison, the Episcopal Cathedral of Boston, and others. He’s composed for Concertmaster David Kim and Principal Horn Jennifer Montone of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Kile also hosts Now Is the Time, Discoveries 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.
Gramophone 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) 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 teaches composition privately and at Cairn University. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, soprano Jacqueline Smith, and their daughters.
Abington Presbyterian Church, Abington, Pa.
Association of Anglican Musicians
The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia
Thomas Elliott, trombone
Emilie United Methodist Church, Levittown, Pa.
First Presbyterian Church, Phoenixville, Pa.
Gerard Manley Hopkins Centenary Conference
William Ghezzi, guitar
Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Abington, Pa.
John Ilika, trombone
The Jupiter Symphony
Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra
Network for New Music
Newburyport Chamber Music Festival
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
The Westminster Brass
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
Hildegard Publishing Company, Inc.
Edwin F. Kalmus & Co., Inc.
Paul Jones Music
Prairie Dawg Press
Theodore Presser Company
Westminster Brass Publications
Photos by Abu Tilghman