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    Smith, Kenneth (1946 – Present)

    Flautist from Wolverhampton, England, whose father was an engineer and preacher who also played piano and sang in a choir.  Kenneth would inherit both his father’s engineering and musical genes, but there was little opportunity at his school for music-making.  They did have a small orchestra, though, and needed a flautist.  Kenneth could play the recorder, and his music instructor encouraged him to take up the flute.  He did, but quit school at fifteen years of age to become an apprentice in a factory. 

     

    Engineering did not captivate him as much as the flute, however, and he started taking formal lessons with Delia Ruhm, then Michael Hirst, at Birmingham’s Midland Institute.  He enrolled at Cardiff College of Music and Drama in 1964 and studied under the watchful eye of Hilary Evans.  His other teachers included Sebastian Bell, James Galway, Geoffrey Gilbert, Stanley Gleave, Peter Lloyd, Marcel Moyse, and Frank Wilson. 

     

    In 1967, he graduated and then furthered his education at St. Mark’s and St. John’s Teacher Training College.  Here he acquired a qualification to teach, and teach he did in his home town of Wolverhampton.  He started going on auditions and won a spot in Bristol’s BBC Training Orchestra. 

     

    In 1973, he became a member of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.  They toured Germany and Switzerland in the ‘80s with flautist Aurele Nicolet.  Aurele informed Kenneth of an opening for a principal flute with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London.  He even went so far as to give Kenneth private instruction.

     

    Kenneth passed the first stage and the orchestra invited him to join them for a fourteen-month trial period.  Then, just one week before his trial was to end, he injured his Achilles tendon, while playing badminton.  He had to go into the hospital and have an operation.  When he awoke, he found himself with a full-length cast on his leg and was told he would be out of commission for three months.  Desperate to finish his trial, he convinced doctors to cut the plaster at his knee and let him out early.  After making him sign several legal documents to protect themselves, they did.  He finished his trial on crutches.  (You try playing Mozart and Shostakovich on crutches.)  Upon completion of his trial, he was awarded the job with the Philharmonia, and has been with them ever since.

     

    His discography consists of a staggering number of recordings, over 500 in toto, and only a handful can be mentioned here, for obvious reasons.  They include:  Best Wedding 50; Best Wedding 100; The Big Country; By the River in Spring; Enchantment:  Music for Flute and Piano; Folk & Fantasy:  British Flute Music Volume 2; Golden Flute; Idylls and Elegies:  Music by John Jeffreys; Messiaen:  Chamber Works; Mozart:  Flute and Harp Concerto K. 299/Sinfonia Concertante K. 297b; The Reed of Pan—British Works for Flute, Vol. 3; Secret Classics; A Song without Words:  The Legacy of Paul Taffanel; Summer Music; To Pan and Syrinx; Trumpet of the Century; Vivaldi:  Mandolin Concertos/Violin Concertos/Flute Concertos; and, Works of Igor Stravinsky.

     

    On many of the above CDs (and a total of twelve including those not mentioned) you can hear him accompanied by pianist Paul Rhodes.  On 2nd April 2011, they participated in The Arcomis International with a program entitled “Frederic Griffith:  a Welshman in Paris”.  Their program comprised Charles-Wilfred de Beriot’s “Sonata, Op. 64”, Emile Bernard’s “Romance”, the world premiere of Dafydd Bullock’s “Nocturne”, Griffith’s “Fantasie on Edward German’s Savoy Opera Merrie England”, and Paul Taffanel’sTrois morceaux de lecture a vue”. 

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.divine-art.com/AS/kensmith.htm
    2. http://robertbigio.com/?p=176
    3. http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mozart-flute-harp-concerto/id4567361
    4. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Reed-Pan-British-Works-Flute/dp/B000006N55
    5. http://www.cduniverse.com/classical.asp?performer=Kenneth+Smith+%28Flute%29
    6. http://www.mostlywind.co.uk/recordin.html
    7. http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1524436/a/Smith,+Kenneth+-+British+Flute+Music,+Vo.htm
    8. http://www.cdconnection.com/details/samples/246157
    9. http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1115952/a/Golden+Flute.htm
    10. http://www.rhapsody.com/#/album/Alb.22115859
    11. http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=201865
    12. http://www.russiancdshop.com/music.php?zobraz=details&id=20908&lang=en
    13. http://www.divineartrecords.com/CD/21371info.htm
    14. http://www.arcomis.com/flute/specialeventskspr
    15. http://www.arcomis.com/flute/kennethsmith
    16. http://www.clicmusique.com/-pi-28669.html?osCsid=377b71de5b4a6b705d379029cb907040
    17. http://product.half.ebay.com/Vivaldi-Mandolin-Concertos-Violin-Concertos-Flute-Concertos-by-Kenneth-Smith-CD-Conifer/71465296&tg=info

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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