“…poetry as well as virtuosity … what makes his playing so complete is the combination of an innate musical simplicity with a highly developed technique…”
— Daily Telepgraph
Philip Smith is one of Britain’s most versatile pianists. He gives solo and chamber recitals, concerto performances, and recitals with the distinguished percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. He is a Steinway artist and appeared at the BBC Proms in 2015.
During the 1980s he won major prizes at several international competitions, resulting in performances in Europe, America and Japan. He also appeared frequently in London’s major concert halls and at international festivals. He appeared in concerto with the Royal Philharmonic, BBC Scottish, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and English Chamber Orchestras. In 1988 alone he performed in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. Opportunities for TV and radio performances followed both at home and abroad.
In 1989 he made his BBC Promenade Concert recital début with Evelyn Glennie. Their partnership has continued with appearances worldwide, including recitals at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Hollywood Bowl. They have played in the presence of royalty and heads of state in several countries and their critically acclaimed New York recital début took place at the Lincoln Center in 1998. In 2015 they returned to the BBC Proms in recital, and a short film about their collaboration was shown on BBC ‘Proms Extra’.
Recordings include Liszt’s complete “Soirées de Vienne” and several CDs with Dame Evelyn Glennie, one of which also features saxophonist John Harle in music by Dave Heath. In 2000 Philip Smith and clarinettist Bernhard Röthlisberger began a duo partnership with concerts in Switzerland and the U.K. They went on to make a CD of the clarinet sonatas by Brahms and his pupil Gustav Jenner.
As a soloist Philip has performed all of the 50 plus concertos in his repertoire and has played live and broadcast on 5 continents. In the UK he has appeared at all the major London halls and made many appearances at Symphony Hall, Birmingham and Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. A highlight of 2014 was a performance there of the Bartok Sonata for 2 pianos and percussion with Noriko Ogawa, Dame Evelyn Glennie, and the Manchester Camerata. He has performed the cycle of Beethoven concertos 5 times, and he has played with the Philharmonic Orchestras of Strasbourg and Duisburg. He has enjoyed tours in Italy, Germany, Norway, Korea and Japan, amongst many others. Philip performs and gives master classes at international Summer schools and he teaches a few students privately in London. He lives there with the renowned Japanese pianist Noriko Ogawa and their cat, Sox. He particularly enjoys duet and two piano concerts in the UK and Japan with Noriko.