Coordinator, piano and vocal studies
Pianist ALAN SMITH enjoys a reputation as one of the United States' most highly regarded figures in the field of collaborative artistry. His performing experiences have included associations in major musical venues with such musical personalities as bass-baritone, Thomas Stewart; soprano, Barbara Bonney; mezzo-soprano, Stephanie Blythe; baritone, Rod Gilfry; violist, Donald McInnes; violinist, Eudice Shapiro; as well as the Los Angeles Chamber Virtuosi. Broadcasts of his performances, compositions, and interviews have been aired on WQXR Radio and WNYE Television in New York City, KUSC in Los Angeles, and North German Radio. His expertise and experience in song literature, chamber music, and opera make him much sought after as an accompanist, coach, faculty colleague, teacher of master classes, and adjudicator of area and international competitions, including regular engagements as a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. At the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California Professor Smith serves as the Chair of Keyboard Studies as well as the Director of the Keyboard Collaborative Arts Program, one of the oldest and largest programs of its kind the country. Having studied with the legendary Martin Katz, Alan Smith has become a teacher of renown himself; among his awards are the Virginia Ramo Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Thornton School and the Inaugural Mellon Award Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Mentoring from the University of Southern California. He has served for twenty years as a member of the vocal coaching faculty at the Tanglewood Music Center in western Massachusetts, was formerly that program's Vocal Program Coordinator, and now serves as the Coordinator of the Piano Program, for which he holds a named chair as the Marian Douglas Martin Master Teacher. His own compositions for voice and piano have received performances in many parts of the world, including foremost music centers on both the east and west coasts of the U.S. A 2002 commission from the Tanglewood Music Center was for a set of songs for a world-premiere gala concert celebrating the eightieth birthday of American soprano, Phyllis Curtin. Alfred Publishing released his Four Folksongs for Soprano, Viola, and Piano in 2003 and his song cycle, Vignettes: Ellis Island, was recorded for public television in New York by mezzo-soprano, Stephanie Blythe, and pianist, Warren Jones, and was aired in January of 2004. The performance has been added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City. His most recent commission was to compose a new vocal chamber work that was premiered by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in February of 2008. The texts, taken from the diary of an American pioneer woman who crossed the continent in a covered wagon, were set for voice and piano trio; the commission was performed by Stephanie Blythe and Warren Jones. Dr. Smith has had articles published in Piano and Keyboard magazine and his articles and reviews on various aspects of collaborative artistry have appeared in the magazine, The American Music Teacher. He is the president of the Eta Chapter of the Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society.