Kile Smith

Classical Host

Kile Smith hosts the contemporary American music program Now Is the Time on Saturdays at 9 pm on HD-2 and the classical stream, and co-hosts Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection on the first Saturday of every month at 5 pm with Jack Moore. Discoveries takes a fresh look at music in the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music at the Free Library of Philadelphia, where Kile was curator for 18 years. He also fills in as an on-air classical host.
 
When he's not producing podcasts of CD reviews for WRTI, writing for the Broad Street Review, or teaching private composition, Kile is busy composing orchestral, choral, chamber, and liturgical works. His music is praised by critics and audiences for its emotional power, direct appeal, and strong voice. Gramophone magazine calls his Vespers "spectacular," possessing "sparkling beauty." The Philadelphia Inquirer describes his music as "breathtaking."
 
He's composed for The Crossing, Piffaro, Orchestra 2001, and the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival. He's also written for David Kim, concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Jennifer Montone, Philadelphia's principal horn, and Anne Martindale Williams, principal cello of the Pittsburgh Symphony. His website is kilesmith.com.

The weeds in his ever-widening gardens hint that he needs to get outside more.

Ways to Connect

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday September 10th, 5 to 6 pm. Last month we left the Hungarian conductor Anton Seidl in late 19th-century New York City, where he led, at one time or another, the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Not too long after, the Spanish composer and pianist Enrique Granados was there, basking in a successful premiere at that same Met. The year was 1916—100 years ago.

How She Danced

Sep 2, 2016

Mischievous, menacing, or minuetting, it's dancing during our Labor Day Weekend Dance Party and on Now Is the Time, Saturday, September 3rd at 9 pm on WRTI-HD2 and the all-classical stream at wrti.org.

The first stirrings of music, they say, often accompanied dancing, so on this last official holiday of the summer, let’s dance! Join us from noon Friday all the way through Monday night for WRTI’s Labor Day Weekend Dance Party!

Rudy Van Gelder, the most sought-after audio engineer in jazz for decades, died last week at age 91. He was an exacting technician, but, as WRTI’s Kile Smith reports, there was something else in his recordings that he was striving for.

Blues on Now Is the Time

Aug 19, 2016

It’s blue and it’s the blues on Now Is the Time, Saturday, August 20th at 9 pm, We pick a Blueberry Rag-A-Muffin to begin the program, one of Linda Robbins Coleman’s many delightful piano rags, and then turn to the second movement of David Amram’s Violin Concerto, called Blues, which also includes an extended saxophone solo.

It took ten years to write Whisper Not, The Autobiography of Benny Golson, by tenor saxophonist and composer Benny Golson and his longtime friend, writer Jim Merod. Walking down the “corridor of life” Golson says, there are surprises, delightful and not.

We're looking at the sky and beyond on Now Is the Time, Saturday, August 13th at 9 pm. Dark Clouds Bring Waters is William McClelland’s setting of John Bunyan: “Dark clouds bring waters, when the bright bring none.” Elena Ruehr follows that with lovely music for flute and piano, Of Water and Clouds.

Pieces of this and that country make up Now Is the Time, Saturday, August 6th at 9 pm. Two works of Mason Bates seemingly float in space, as Chanticleer sings the Maori-inspired Observer in the Magellanic Cloud, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project performs Mothership, along with electronics and a guzheng, the Chinese zither. Argentine sounds invest the lovely Dances of Mario Broeders for flute and harp, and the Cambodian American Chinary Ung brings Water Rings Overture for orchestra.

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday from 5 to 6 pm on WRTI... As we’ve seen this year on Discoveries, the rise of American orchestral music followed composers and orchestras, as you might think. And because orchestras have leaders, we’ve started looking at conductors, too.

At the gateway of August, summertime looks like it will never end—but it won’t be long until it begins to fade. On Now Is the Time, Saturday, July 30th at 9 pm on WRTI-HD2 and the all-classical webstream at wrti.org, Dan Becker starts us off with a cut from his Fade album that looks forward and back, ReInvention 1a. Imagine a J. S. Bach invention run through a digital piano with postminimalist leanings, and maybe you can imagine the excitement and quirkiness of this piece. Then, Jennifer Higdon’s Dash for flute, clarinet, and piano is all that and a cloud of dust.

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