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
10:11 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Musical Jewels of Jean Sibelius

Gustav Mahler famously remarked that the symphony "must be like the world - it must embrace everything." This explains those disjunct themes delightfully butting against each other in his symphonies. What is often forgotten is that he said this to disagree with Jean Sibelius, who told Mahler that every part of a symphony must have a logical, ruthless interconnection with every other part. Not the world, replies Sibelius: a symphony is like the earth.

Program:

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

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News and Views
3:02 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Yannick Nezet-Seguin Visits WRTI

CD Selections
2:56 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

LISTEN: Kile Smith Recommends...

The Vanishing Nordic Chorale
Musik Ekklesia

It's well past time to listen to historical instruments because they're, well, historical. Or "informed," or "accurate," or whatever word we might use to feel scholastically correct. It's time to listen because they sound beautiful.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
9:35 am
Sat November 5, 2011

Works by Lili Boulanger, Vivian Fine, and Florence Price

Nadia Boulanger is well known to musicians, being the Parisian teacher of many American composers, most notably Aaron Copland. But her younger sister, Lili, excelled as a composer despite battling sickness most of her life. She eventually succumbed to Crohn's Disease at the much-too-young age of 24.

Program:

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CD Selections
12:31 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

LISTEN: Kile Smith Recommends...

Harvest Home
Fiddler Jay Ungar, Guitarist Molly Mason
Nashville Chamber Orchestra

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
10:00 am
Sat October 1, 2011

The Unique Russian Composer Aleksandr Scriabin

The word "unique" is overused, but Aleksandr Scriabin (1872 - 1915) was one unique composer. Tune in to hear two works of Scriabin that were written only ten years apart, but show the great evolution in his artistic identity - from modernist Russian to universal philosopher. It's the Piano Concerto and The Poem of Ecstasy of Aleksandr Scriabin on the next Discoveries...join us!

You needed a ticket to get into the funeral. All the services and all the tributes and all the writings bear witness that when Aleksandr Scriabin died in 1915, at the age of 43, Russia believed its standard-bearer of art had been taken away.

Ten years earlier, Russia could hardly have cared less.

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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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