Kile Smith

Classical Host

Kile Smith hosts the contemporary American music program Now Is the Time on Sundays at 10 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, teaching music history at Cairn University, music notation at Temple University, or 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.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
3:19 pm
Sat September 3, 2011

Latin-American Orchestral Works

"I've been searching for these all my career!" The conductor from Argentina gazed at the more than 100 Latin-American scores on the desks around him at the Fleisher Collection - just a fraction of the works found by Nicolas Slonimsky in Central and South America. Gabriel Castagna had flown to Philadelphia to study these, and he couldn't believe his eyes.

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CD Selections
3:50 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

LISTEN: Kile Smith Recommends...

John Williams: Greatest Hits 1969-1999

A lone violin plays a simple, haunting melody, and you think of the people: the many taken away, the few saved, and the one who saved the few. His name is Schindler, and the violin plays. This forlorn, soft, heart-rending music--performed here by Itzhak Perlman--is by John Williams, the king of Hollywood composers. It transforms the movie, because as sad as Schindler's List is, it is the sweetness of the music that drives the sadness deeper. John Williams makes magic happen in front of our eyes. That's what he does.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
1:01 pm
Sat August 6, 2011

Works by Ignaz Pleyel and Dmitri Shostakovich

Ignaz Pleyel had three strikes against him during the French Revolution. He was rich, he was a foreigner, and he worked for the Church. He was exactly the type of person for whom the Reign of Terror sharpened its guillotines. Even worse: he was an artist. Different despots use different tactics, but artists are usually among their first targets.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
12:15 pm
Sat July 2, 2011

Claude Debussy Revealed

Maybe it's not fair, but we're going to play two works by Debussy that he never wanted us to hear. And we'll listen to one piece in a form he never heard.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
1:38 pm
Sat June 4, 2011

Works by Friedrich Gernsheim and Engelbert Humperdinck

We're going to pick up the thread from last month's Discoveries and follow it a bit further. Felix Mendelssohn convinced two friends of his, Ignaz Moscheles and Ferdinand David, to work with him in Leipzig. Moscheles and David both taught Friedrich Gernsheim. We'll hear his music, and that of one of his students, who has one of the more recognized names of any composer.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
12:01 pm
Wed May 4, 2011

Three Composers of Leipzig

Ignaz Moscheles

The famous pianist and composer Ignaz Moscheles sat next to the 15-year-old boy on the piano bench, about to give a piano lesson as a favor to the boy's father. In less than a minute, Moscheles, a sensation on the continent, lionized in England, one of a handful of pianists vying for that ever-shifting "greatest" title, knew that he was "sitting next to a master, not a pupil." He had encountered prodigies before, but never had he seen anyone like Felix Mendelssohn.

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CD Selections
12:37 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

Kile Smith Recommends...

A Grand Celebration: The Philadelphia Orchestra Live with the Wanamaker Organ at Macy's Center City
The Historic Grand Court Concert
Peter Richard Conte, organist. Rossen Milanov, conductor

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CD Selections
3:27 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Kile Smith Recommends...

John Zorn: The Gift

Composers have always used elements of popular music to make high art. The suites of Bach and entire movements of Mahler would never have appeared without the seeds of middlebrow entertainment. John Zorn cultivates this field, and, for The Gift, keeps to a corner of it called "The Sixties."

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CD Selections
10:01 am
Wed March 30, 2011

Kile Smith Recommends...

Relache: Press Play
Music of Mark Hagerty, Guy Klucevsek, Cynthia Folio

Relache has been slipping the thin leading edge of new music into Philadelphia since 1979. They've done it with a jolly indifference to the clashing of styles or the rocking of boats. Even their name, which in French means "the show is closed," exhibits their iconoclasm and humor. Downtown, uptown, no town, doesn't matter: if it's new - brand new - Relache is all over it.

 

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
11:00 am
Sat March 5, 2011

Composer and Pianist Ferruccio Busoni

Ferruccio Busoni. He was the first to perform all 18 Franz Liszt Preludes together, the first to play all 24 Chopin Preludes together, and, over four nights in Berlin, he soloed in 14 concertos with orchestra. Fourteen. They couldn't invent words big enough to describe this new star among pianists. Not only did they call him star, but also sun, giant, and king - tripping over themselves to find superlatives.

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