Sunday, Sept. 20 has been set as the date for a memorial for Joseph Smith, to be held at Montclair State College, Montclair, New Jersey


Joseph Smith, pianist, vocal coach, music teacher, writer, and lecturer, died early on March 23nd, 2015. His death came as a sudden interruption of vigorous life. He is survived by his many colleagues and students who loved him for himself and for his musical insights, and by his loving brother Daniel.

He was born on July 4th, 1948, the son of Robert Paul Smith and Elinor Goulding Smith. He reveled in rediscovering piano works of real musical value that had fallen unjustly into obscurity, and bringing them to public attention. He had professional interests in the composers Field, Weber, Griffes, and Grieg, and a special devotion to the work of Percy Grainger and Robert Schumann.

Joseph Smith’s website, http://www.josephsmithpianist.com will remain online through the end of 2015. Information on any memorial events will be posted there when details are known. Some of his videos can be found by searching YouTube for “joseph smith steinway1901.”

In keeping with his wishes there will be no traditional funeral. His colleagues and friends expect to host a memorial event at Montclair State College in New Jersey, where he had been teaching for many years.


Joseph Smith - pianist, lecturer, writerPianist Joseph Smith is especially known for presenting neglected works through performances, lectures, recordings, articles, broadcasts and editions. He has edited eleven piano anthologies, recorded ten CDs, and written for numerous publications. For two years, he had a monthly feature on NPR’s Performance Today.  Stuart Isacoff’s Natural History of the Pianocalls Smith a “walking encyclopedia of the piano.”  Among Smith’s special interests: early romanticism (Field, Weber), early twentieth century American music (Griffes), music and folklore (Grieg and Grainger).

(Photo Credit Peter Schaaf)