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
4:09 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Edvard Grieg Discovers Norway

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, April 6th at 5 pm...

“Edvard Grieg,” they were saying in Germany and in Denmark. It was the name of that young pianist/composer from Norway they were noticing, for he was starting to become somebody. But then something odd happened. He discovered Norway.

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Now is the Time
11:39 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Divinum Mysterium on Now is the Time

from Paul Moravec: Montserrat: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra

It’s the mystery of creation and Casals on Now is the Time, Sunday, March 31st at 10 pm. Paul Moravec visited Montserrat, home of a monastery and of a statue of Pablo Casals. The great cellist had played there and was friends with the monks who attended to the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat. Casals is memorialized by that statue and now by Moravec’s cello concerto Montserrat, played sumptuously here by Matt Haimovitz.

From eighth blackbird’s CD beginnings is Daniel Kellogg’s Divinum Mysterium. Chanticleer sings the Latin chant (from which comes the hymn “Of the Father’s love begotten”). Then Kellogg takes us on a journey through creation’s mystery, from stillness to rejoicing.

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Now is the Time
8:01 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

Over the Green Earth on Now is the Time

from Ronn McFarlane: Over the Green Earth

We’re trying to kick-start spring on Now is the Time, Sunday, March 24th at 10 pm. Leaps and Bulls is all funky frogs and swamps, from the group Blob. Yes, Blob. Gary Schocker tempts us out of the house with Out of Doors Duets for two flutes, and Ned Rorem’s long-limbed Day Music and Night Music is for violin and piano.

The Symphony No. 5 of Charles Fussell is an expansive memorial to Virgil Thomson, and Ronn McFarlane honors all things spring with modern music for the lute, in Over the Green Earth.

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Now is the Time
3:03 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Persistencies on Now is the Time

from Dick Hensold: Zeitgeist Anniversary Tune

Time's marching on Now is the Time, Sunday, March 17th at 10 pm. Whether it's the change of clocks or seasons, something is trying to get our attention. Former Take 6 member Cedric Dent arranges the gospel song Somebody's Knocking at Your Door for piano, Margaret Garwood sets Tombsongs for choir, and Leonardo Balada puts an amplified classical guitar through its paces, with orchestra, in Persistencies.

New-music standout Zeitgeist rips through Chris Gable's game-show send-up Beat That Clock, and Dick Hensold applauds their three-decade longevity in Zeitgeist Anniversary Tune. Sebastian Currier persistently works his own tune in Variations on "Time and Time Again" for flute and piano.

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Now is the Time
12:29 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

XY Etudes on Now is the Time

from H. Leslie Adams: Etudes

Etudes for piano and for bongos are on Now is the Time, Sunday, March 10th at 10 pm. Maria Corley performs seven of the twelve neo-romantic Etudes by Leslie Adams, journeying through changing harmonic relationships, with a sure touch by composer and pianist.

Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon wrote XY for Doug Perkins, who hypnotizes on this recording. Perkins works over five (we think) bongos with mallets. It’s an etude in itself, a study in polyrhythms, but most of all, a seductively fascinating work.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
6:38 am
Fri March 8, 2013

How Delius Fell in Love with Music in Florida

Edvard Munch, The Dance of Life, 1899

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, March 9th at 5 pm...The young Englishman watched the cigar smoke dance slowly as it dissipated into the hot, thick air. He was sitting on the porch of a cottage in an orange grove called Solano on a sleepy bank of a river named the St. Johns, a long, lazy waterway born in the southern marshes and in no hurry to creep up eastern Florida to lap, finally, into the Atlantic. St. Augustine was close by to the east, but 1884 St. Augustine was not yet a city, nowhere near a city, hardly a town. In this lonely grove by the river, in the wilderness of the Florida interior, St. Augustine could have been in Yorkshire, the young Englishman’s home, for all that.

He lit another cigar. As the smoke melted, barely lifted by the St. Johns breeze, 22-year-old Fritz Delius was happy to be far from St. Augustine, far from Yorkshire, and as far from his father as he could be.

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Now is the Time
11:55 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Ballads on Now is the Time

from Benjamin Broening: Arioso/Doubles

We're telling stories on Now is the Time, Sunday, March 3rd at 10 pm. Stephen Vincent Benét's The Ballad of William Sycamore ("My father, he was a mountaineer, His fist was a knotty hammer; He was quick on his feet as a running deer, And he spoke with a Yankee stammer...") is set pungently by John Biggs. Benjamin Broening accompanies the same clarinet music in two different—and fascinating—ways: with piano (Arioso), and with computer sounds (Arioso/Doubles).

Maurice Wright tantalizes with an excerpt from his Mythology cycle, and David Amram mythologizes a bit himself in his Elizabethan-inspired Sonata for piano.

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Now is the Time
10:12 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Incredible Purple on Now is the Time

from Joshua Stamper: Incredible Purple

We’re in the blue to purple section of the color wheel on Now is the Time, Sunday, February 24th at 10 pm. The blues are brought to us by Frank Ticheli’s wind orchestra, John King’s string quartet for Ethel, and Libby Larsen’s flute and guitar homage to Dizzy Gillespie and Ray Charles.

A Christopher Campbell interval spans wavelengths so that we may meet Efraín Amaya’s Venezuelan-spiced flute concerto. Joshua Stamper’s Incredible Purple sings the boundary between blues and something ineffable. Well, there’s a trombone.

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Now is the Time
11:48 am
Sat February 16, 2013

Episodes for Cello on Now is the Time

from Allen Shawn: Episodes for Cello and Piano

The cello sings on Now is the Time, Sunday, February 17th at 10 pm. The seven-movement Sonata No. 2 for Unaccompanied Cello of Michael Hersch is a journey of lament, passion, and poignancy. There is darkness and depth in all of Hersch's music, but it is always leavened with an inescapable, sincere lyricism. This is thoroughly involving.  

Allen Shawn has written operas on librettos by his brother, actor and playwright Wallace Shawn, music for the film My Dinner with Andre, and lots of piano and chamber music. He calls his own music eclectic, and there's always a wry element just around the corner. But don't allow that to cause you to miss his crafting of satisfying, skillful works, including these six Episodes for Cello and Piano.

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CD Selections
4:51 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Kile Smith Recommends: David Bennett Thomas, Paths

Review including examples from David Bennett Thomas, Paths.

Listeners look for categories, but artists freely create, and David Bennett Thomas is, first of all, an artist. Neo-this, post-that, or fusion-with-something-else may be of interest to others, but the artist is interested only in creating.

David Bennett Thomas works in jazz and classical music, but he doesn’t put one foot in one and one in the other. He’s a professional, so he commits to either, depending on his purpose. He’s an artist, so he’s true, regardless of what he’s composing. He laughs and loves life, so his music is filled with humor and, perhaps what is most revolutionary in our earnest age, happiness.

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