Bio

The New York Times called pianist Joseph Smith’s playing “eloquent,” and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung found him a “richly sensitive interpreter.” Through performances, recordings, broadcasts, lectures, and magazine articles, Smith has brought many little-known pieces to the attention of the public.

Joseph Smith’s CD Familiar Melodies (Brioso 126) has been praised in several publications. International Piano Quarterly found it “really delightful,” Fanfare “an imaginative new collection…the playing is always both intelligent and committed,” and American Record Guide wrote “Smith is a fine pianist.” Smith’s earlier recordings include an album of Griffes (just reissued by Arkiv Music), of which Stereophile wrote that Smith plays “with consummate understanding and sensitivity.” Turok’s Choice wrote of his Piano Waltzes from Beethoven to Poulenc (Brioso 142), “Pianist Joseph Smith is second to none in creating fascinating programs for his cds.” His latest CD is Piano Barcarolles: From Venice to the Mississippi (Brioso 155).

Joseph Smith’s column, “Rare Finds,” appeared in Piano Today magazine from 1993. Smith has also written for other piano magazines, including the British Piano. For two years, “Joseph Smith’s Piano Bench” ran as a monthly feature on National Public Radio’s Performance Today.

Smith is editor of eleven piano anthologies, as diverse as: Four Early 20th Century Piano Suites by Black Composers (G. Schirmer), Great Waltzes, American Piano Classics, Tangos, Milongas, and Other Latin-American Dances for Solo Piano (Dover Publications) and Mano Sinistra: Etudes for the Cultivation of the Left Hand (International Music Company). He has three volumes in the Steinway library of piano music—Rare Finds includes an essay by Smith on each piece, and a CD.

Smith has performed at Alice Tully Hall, Stern Auditorium, The National Gallery of Art in DC, the American Cathedral in Paris, and frequently on WQXR. He has given lecture‑recitals for such organizations as the Chopin Foundation, NY Grieg Society, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, and the New York Society Library. He is included in David Dubal’s Art of the Piano, his articles are cited in Maurice Hinson’s Guide to the Pianist’s Repertoire, and he is a Steinway artist. Stuart Isacoff’s The Natural History of the Piano calls Smith a “walking encyclopedia of the piano.”