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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Now Is the Time
2:27 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Winter Solstice, Winter Solace

from Benjamin C. S. Boyle: Three Carols for Wintertide

We are on the cusp of winter on Now Is the Time, Saturday, December 21st at 9 pm—our new time, every Saturday night at 9 on WRTI-HD2 and the all-classical stream at wrti.org. From the Philadelphia new-music choir The Crossing we hear Benjamin C. S. Boyle’s Three Carols for Wintertide, holding up for our consideration a rose, holly and ivy, and rosemary.

For Nothing is Fred Frith’s music considering the Buddha nature; it’s for contralto with the unusual string quartet of two violins, cello, and viola da gamba. Katherine Hoover paints the image of a Native American flutist in Winter Spirits, and Adrienne Albert offers the soft Winter Solace for saxophone and piano.

The start of a solstice reminds us of beginnings of all kinds, and the Symphony No. 1 of Steven R. Gerber makes a powerful statement with warmth and lyricism.

If you’re new to Now Is the Time, just click on the Listen: Classical button at the top of the page. Day or night, that brings you the all-classical stream, and at 9 pm every Saturday, you’ll hear Now Is the Time. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM, HD2, or find all the frequencies here, depending on where you are, from the Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Dover. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI!

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Now Is the Time
5:56 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Mischievous, Menacing, and Minuetting Dances

from Daron Hagen: Bandanna

Mischievous, menacing, or minuetting, it's dancing on Now Is the Time, Saturday, December 7th at 9 pm—our new time, every Saturday night at 9 on WRTI-HD2 and the all-classical stream at wrti.org.

From her CD How She Danced comes Elena Ruehr's String Quartet No. 4. It includes, as do her other quartets, a dance—in this case, a minuet—among the four movements. There is always much going on beneath the surface of her music, but whether it's mathematics or literature, what we always hear is a focus on beautiful sound. Saxophone and clarinet comprise the sounding beauties of Perry Goldstein's Mischief. It pirouettes, dips, and delights on its way, and is over before we know it. We want to hear more.

Wanting more, desiring the other, and death are elements of opera; Daron Hagen brings them all together, to violent effect, in Bandanna, set on the U.S./Mexico border in the 1960s. Immigrants, law corrupted, and jealousy combine in this finely wrought yet roiling tragedy. We'll hear much of Act Two, where misunderstandings and machinations during a wedding dance propel the drama toward its conclusion.

Next week: Now Is the Time Show #200!

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
5:59 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Shakespeare Via Verdi, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Edward German

Shakespeare Memorial, Free Library of Philadelphia

Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection broadcasts Saturday, December 7th, 2013, 5-6 pm on WRTI and wrti.org. Shakespeare continues to live, and if you were to name an orchestral work based on one of his plays, we wouldn’t blame you for coming up with one of the most popular works in the repertoire, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet. But it wouldn’t be Discoveries without a curve ball or three, so this month we offer another Fantasy-Overture of his, Hamlet.

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Now Is the Time
12:54 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

A Kennedy Portrait

from Philip Lasser: Vocalise

It's an elegiac walk among portraits, surrounding the remembrance of JFK on Now Is the Time, Saturday, November 23rd at 9 pm—our new time, every Saturday night at 9 on WRTI-HD2 and the all-classical stream at wrti.org.

In Gallery for solo cello, Robert Muczynski takes us past paintings, similar to the how Mussorgsky does in Pictures at an Exhibition. A Kennedy Portrait for narrator and orchestra uses the words of President Kennedy and also some from the composer, William Kraft, in this work of exhilaration and hope.

From the CD Portraits & Elegies is Philip Lasser's Vocalise, poignant music for violin and piano. Returning to the single cello, Andrew Waggoner's Le Nom (Upperline) is a beautiful reminiscence of his hometown of New Orleans both before and after Hurricane Katrina. John Harbison walks us again through a gallery, but Six American Painters is more about the artists themselves—including Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer—rather than their work.

If you're new to Now Is the Time, just go to wrti.org and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top. Day or night, that brings you the classical stream, and at 9 pm every Saturday, you'll hear Now Is the Time. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM, HD2, or find all the frequencies here, depending on where you are, from the Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Dover. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI!

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Now Is the Time
8:12 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Double Dance on Now Is the Time

from Bill Dobbins: Prelude III in F Major

  We connect through dance on Now Is the Time, Saturday, November 16th at 9 pm—our new time, every Saturday night at 9 on WRTI-HD2.

Easley Blackwood sets the stage with a Rondo Caprice for Flute and Guitar, then Mark Carlson keeps the guitar but switches to soprano saxophone in Two Ballads. Two rags by Brian Dykstra follow, Nancita and Noelito for pianists Nancy Roldán and Noel Lester, and then the Umgawa Rag, named for the trio who premiered it, alto saxophonist James Umble, pianist Carolyn Gadiel Warner, and violinist Stephen Warner.

Chuck Holdeman straddles the two worlds of Baroque and new music with a lovely Sonate en Trio. Two worlds and two works sandwich the Holdeman music: from the CD Double Dance: Classical & Jazz Connections II we hear Prelude VII and Prelude III of Bill Dobbins.

If you're new to Now Is the Time, just go to wrti.org and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top. Day or night, that brings you the classical stream, and at 9 pm every Saturday, you'll hear Now Is the Time. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM, HD2, or find all the frequencies here, depending on where you are, from the Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Dover. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI!

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Now Is the Time
2:06 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

The Edge of the Infinite on Now Is the Time

from James Piorkowski: “Once Was Lost…”

We see from surprising paths on Now Is the Time, Saturday, November 9th at 9 pm—our new time, every Saturday night at 9 on WRTI-HD2.

Solo flute entices, with electronics, in Flutepaths by Lawrence Moss, and then the first of two works relate to the hymn "Amazing Grace." James Piorkowski's subtle variations "Once Was Lost…" are for solo guitar.

Christopher Theofanidis's large-breathed On the Edge of the Infinite, for violin and orchestra, brings us to Amazing Grace by Leslie Adams. While the title is familiar, both the music and the words are by Adams. Michael Colgrass bases the Winds of Nagual on Carlos Castaneda's mystic writings from the Mexican wilderness. Hallucinations and shape-shifting lead to a leap into the abyss, which explodes into a thousand views of the world.

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Now Is the Time
10:16 am
Sat November 2, 2013

Of Nature on Now Is the Time, Now on Saturday Night!

from William Wallace: Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra

It's the world and how we live in it on Now Is the Time, Saturday, November 2nd at 9 pm. Starting today, things go bump in the night as the schedule shifts on WRTI-HD2. The biggest move is for Now Is the Time, moving from its Sunday slot to one day and one hour earlier. We love the change! The show now broadcasts every Saturday at 9 pm.

William Wallace, the American composer born in 1923, has a tonal language that sometimes wears Baroque forms, but lightly. Underneath pulses a strong personality. His second Piano Concerto begins with, of all things, a fugue, and it works brilliantly. After the warm choral sound of A Cosmic Prayer by Carson Cooman, beautifully sung by The Choir of Royal Holloway, is Tomas Svoboda's Symphony No. 1 (of Nature). Written when he was only 16, it's forthright and assured, with echoes of his Czech heritage. It's a remarkable achievement.

If you're new to Now Is the Time and live anywhere in, well, the cosmos, just go to wrti.org and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top. Day or night, that brings you the classical stream, and at 9 pm every Saturday, you'll hear Now Is the Time. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM, HD2, or find all the frequencies here, depending on where you live, from the Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Dover. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI!

What’s that you say, you’d love to hear the theme music? Of course you would…just click here!

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
10:14 am
Sat November 2, 2013

Shakespeare, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Elgar on Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection

Falstaff and His Page, Adolf Schrödter (1805–1875)

Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection broadcasts Saturday, November 2nd, 5 to 6 pm. Since the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music at the Free Library of Philadelphia is the world’s largest lending library of orchestral performance materials, and since it holds more than 21,000 titles, it should be no surprise that conductors make use of its resources for almost any concert theme imaginable.

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Now Is the Time
10:32 pm
Sat October 26, 2013

Around Halloween on Now Is the Time

from Dan Visconti: Drift of Rainbows

The spirit of Halloween hovers over Now Is the Time, Sunday, October 27th at 10 pm. Strings, bells, melodicas softly accompany waning desert sunlight: such is Drift of Rainbows by Dan Visconti. William Moylan's setting of the Yeats poem The Stolen Child tells an Erlkönig-like story: "Come away, O human child! / To the waters and the wild / With a faery, hand in hand, / For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand."

Benjamin Broening processes out-takes of recordings over and over until they sound hardly electronic anymore, but more, perhaps, like ghosts, in Traces (ii). Acoustically to Shake the Tree is Robert Carl's business at hand—for piano four-hands—and the fruit from the overtone series brilliantly litters his landscape. And William Bolcom wraps the program with one of his fortes in the Graceful Ghost Rag.

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Now Is the Time
11:40 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Inspired by Bach on Now Is the Time

from Mark Hagerty: Cello Suite 2

J. S. Bach continues to illuminate us, on Now Is the Time, Sunday, October 20th at 10 pm. The Cello Suite 2 of Mark Hagerty does not ape the suites of the great master, but rather is lit from within by the spirit of Bach. It's a large-breathed, optimistic suite, given a luminous reading by Douglas McNames.

The third Quintet for Winds by David Maslanka is so dedicated to the spirit of Bach, that even a chorale confidently unfurling in its midst is caught up in the spirit—though it's an original tune. Still, quotes and feints abound, and the deft handling of these chamber forces not only warmly counterpoises Hagerty's solo cello suite, it introduces us to an appreciation for Maslanka, for Bach, and for the never-dying muse illuminating all music of good will.

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