Steven Smith, friends to present 'Concert Spirituel'

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State piano faculty member Steven Smith will be joined by School of Music faculty members James Lyon, Kim Cook and Anthony Costa in a chamber music recital at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, in Esber Recital Hall. Admission is free.

Titled "Concert Spirituel," the program opens with the Beethoven "Ghost Trio" for piano, violin and cello. Composed in 1808 and considered to be one of Beethoven's best known works in this genre, it received its moniker "because of its strangely scored and undeniably eerie-sounding slow movement." The Penn State colleagues will also perform Olivier Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time" (for piano, violin, cello and clarinet), considered to be the composer's first great masterpiece. It is regarded as one of the most evocative pieces of the 20th century and to the audience, one of the most moving.

For those interested in learning more about the repertoire on this afternoon's performance, Messiaen scholar and Penn State faculty member Vincent Benitez will provide a pre-concert talk at 3:15 p.m. in Esber Recital Hall.


"Piano Trio in D major, Op.70 No.1 (Ghost)" -- Ludwig van Beethoven

    Allegro vivace e con brio
    Largo assai ed espressivo

"Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time)" -- Olivier Messiaen

    Liturgie de cristal (Crystal Liturgy); full quartet
    Vocalise, pour l'Ange qui annonce la fin du temps (Vocalise for the angel who announces the end of time); full quartet
    Abîme des oiseaux (Abyss of birds); clarinet
    Intermède (Interlude); violin, cello, clarinet
    Louange à l'Éternité de Jésus (Praise to the eternity of Jesus); cello and piano
    Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes (Dance of fury for seven trumpets); full quartet
    Fouillis d'arcs-en-ciel, pour l'Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps (Tangle of rainbows for the angel announcing the end of time); full quartet
    Louange à l'immortalité de Jésus (Praise to the immortality of Jesus); violin and piano

Smith has performed recitals and concertos throughout the world and has recorded solo recitals for the French, German and Spanish Steven Smithnational radios, Radio 4 Hong Kong and America’s PBS. His CDs appear on the Cambria and Innova labels. He has given many master classes and lecture recitals for universities and teacher associations in the United States and abroad, including the University of Melbourne (Australia), Hong Kong’s Academy of Performing Arts and Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy, among others. Recently, he has focused on a comprehensive series of recitals of Beethoven’s sonata and other repertoire.

He received critical acclaim for his series of new-music solo recitals, "Piano Entente," presented at Merkin Concert Hall in New York and at St. John’s Smith Square, London. Smith was honored in 2005 with the College of Arts and Architecture’s Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching; previously he won the Teacher of the Year Award of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers’ Association.

His students have won significant national awards, including the Fulbright Scholarship and the Clara Wells Competition of the Matthay Association. In the Music Teachers National Association competitions since 1991, four of his Penn State students have been national semifinalists (Pennsylvania winners). Steven Herbert Smith received a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Baylor University and master’s and doctor of musical arts degrees from the Eastman School of Music, as well as an Artist’s Diploma from the Mozarteum of Salzburg, Austria, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. His teachers included Cécile Genhart and Kurt Neumüller.

Last Updated January 23, 2014