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
9:19 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Requiem for a Requiem on Now Is the Time

from Philip Blackburn: Requiem for a Requiem

It's surprising remembrance on Now Is the Time, Sunday, June 16th at 10 pm. In her Cantata da Requiem, World War II Poems of Peace, Gloria Coates gathers unlikely texts—including a BBC 1942 weather report—into a haunting cry.

Philip Blackburn remixes Robert Moran's 9/11 memorial Trinity Requiem, combining the shards of that beautiful piece into something new and lovely, Requiem for a Requiem.

David Chesky's Psalm III for string orchestra hints at resurrection, and the Quartet No. 3 of Philip Glass, a memorial to the Japanese author Yukio Mishima and originally for string quartet, is made new in the liquid playing of the Oasis Saxophone Quartet.

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Now Is the Time
7:20 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Thrum on Now Is the Time

from Steve Bowman: Odd Angle of the Isle

It's all movement and angles on Now Is the Time, Sunday, June 9th at 10 pm. Sergio Cervetti's two harpsichord pieces Candombe and Alberada spin and dance, while Elizabeth Brown's chamber work Liguria bends deliciously (she's also the flutist).

Another composer/performer is the Philadelphia area's Steve Bowman, whose electronic Odd Angle of the Isle is mixed down from live club dates (no sequencers! no multi-tracking!). Steven Winteregg imagines an orchestral bullet train speeding through France with a brisk TGV, but David Evan Thomas's Thrum nudges the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet through layers and soft waves to close the program.

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Now Is the Time
12:19 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Different Trains on Now Is the Time

Grand Central Terminal, New York City, at its founding, 1913.

from Steve Reich: Different Trains

It’s two large works—one for piano, one for string quartet—on Now Is the Time, Sunday, June 2nd at 10 pm. The Sonata for Piano Solo by Judith Lang Zaimont shows its depth through color and a confident use of materials: not afraid to echo Beethoven’s “Pathéthique” Sonata in the second movement, she carries it off beautifully. The Van Cliburn Competition used the third movement of this sonata in 2001.

As a child growing up in New York City during World War II, Steve Reich traveled East Coast to West Coast and back by train. He later learned that there were other people on other trains at the same time in Poland, in Hungary, who were being taken to their deaths. Different Trains places the Kronos string quartet against its recorded self, along with the voices of some who survived the Holocaust.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
11:44 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Haydn Symphonies, First and Last, on Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection

Haydn Hall, Esterházy Castle

Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection broadcasts Saturday, June 1st, 2013, 5-6 pm.

We call Joseph Haydn the “Father of the Symphony,” but he didn’t invent the form. A symphony is a multi-movement work, usually for orchestra, usually including a first movement that develops a theme, and another that’s a dance. When Haydn started producing these, people had already been writing them for about 20 years. His first is from around 1758 or so; fellow Austrian Georg Matthias Monn wrote one in 1740.

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Now is the Time
12:48 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Mythology on Now Is the Time

Detail from Tantalus's Torment, by Bernard Picart (1673-1733)

from Robert Lombardo: Orpheus and the Maenads

It's three views of mythology on Now Is the Time, Sunday, May 26th at 10 pm. Robert Lombardo brings the sound of the mandolin to the string orchestra with a fascinating result in Orpheus and the Maenads, and Richard Stoltzman brings his clarinet to the music of Jonathan Sacks, whose Portals re-imagines Bacchus and ancient rituals.

Maurice Wright's Mythology is a cycle of songs considering the myths of Orpheus, Lethe, Tantalus, and Medusa, the music swimming in poignant lyricism.

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Now is the Time
9:41 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Warmth on Now Is the Time

The Baroque and new-music group Mélomanie

from Derek Bermel: Thracian Sketches

The cold snap is behind us and we’re feeling the warmth of spring on Now Is the Time, Sunday, May 19th at 10 pm. Ingrid Arauco’s Florescence buzzes and hums for the flute and harpsichord of Mélomanie, and Derek Bermel brings Thracian Sketches in all its Bulgarian-inspired rhythms to viola and percussion.

George Tsontakis takes us to the Mediterranean with orchestral Gymnopedies that are more Greek than French, but France infuses the sound of Avner Dorman’s Moments Musicaux for piano.

Things heat up with the computerized kicks of Thrum by John Gibson, and finally, with the two electric guitars that rock David Lang’s Warmth.

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Now is the Time
12:44 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Even Odd Pieces on Now Is the Time

from Janika Vandervelde: Genesis V

We’re having fun with numbers on Now Is the Time, Sunday, May 12th at 10 pm. Four dances for piano is what Keith Carpenter calls An even number of odd pieces, and Sketches Set Seven, also for piano, is Ed Bland’s contribution to what he calleds “urban classical funk.”

Mr. Bland passed away after this show was produced, so we honor his memory with this look into his wide-ranging career.

Charles Wuorinen’s Dodecadactyl is a fun two-guitar romp through the twelve pitches, and from her set of life-rhythm-inspired Genesis works is Janika Vandervelde’s Genesis V, for four guitars. For two sopranos is the riveting Madrigal III by Sergio Cervetti, setting a text from pre-Columbian Mexico.

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Now is the Time
11:34 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Concerto da Camera on Now Is the Time

from John Williams: Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra

Concertos for low instruments bookend a concerto for orchestra on Now Is the Time, Sunday, May 5th at 10 pm. Gunther Schuller conducts Orchestra 2001 in his Concerto da Camera, a classical-sized work with twists. Carter Brey’s singing tone dives deep into Steven Gerber’s Cello Concerto, bringing up a work of warmth and beauty.

The program opens with a perky yet challenging Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra by John Williams. Although he’s known worldwide for his decades of award-winning film scores, he’s written many concert pieces—including concertos. This one has become a repertoire piece for tubists since he composed it in 1985.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
4:10 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Prokofiev Moves Back to Russia

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday, May 4th at 5 pm...

Sergei Prokofiev lived in Paris in 1936 but longed for Russia. He had never relinquished his Soviet citizenship in the years he was abroad; since 1918 he lived in the U.S., Germany, and France. He toured America, Europe, and the USSR often, playing piano in and conducting his growing repertoire of increasingly popular works.

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Now is the Time
12:25 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Night Cadenza on Now Is the Time

from Terry Riley: Cadenza on the Night Plain

It’s different ways to say good night on Now is the Time, Sunday, April 28th at 10 pm. Alex Freeman’s solo piano Night on the Prairies leads to a sextet in Jeremy Beck’s In Flight until Mysterious Night (and do we hear Steely Dan in there?). Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble then runs with the Night of the Flying Horses of Osvaldo Golijov.

Then, two quartets. Night Blossoms of Mary Jane Leach is a haiku for four singers, and the four string instruments of Kronos play Terry Riley’s long-breathed Cadenza on the Night Plain, out into that good night.

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