Hale Smith

Hale Smith

born on 29/6/1925 in Cleveland, OH, United States

died on 24/11/2009 in Freeport, Long Island, NY, United States

Links chevalierdesaintgeorges.homestead.com (English)

Hale Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Hale Smith (June 29, 1925 – November 24, 2009) was an American composer, pianist, educator, arranger, and editor.[1] He was one of the most notable African-American composers of the 20th century.


Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Smith studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, graduating with a B.M. degree in 1950, and obtaining an M.M. in 1952. There, his instructors included Marcel Dick (composition), Ward Lewis (theory), Dorothy Price (piano), and Robert U. Nelson (calligraphy). In 1953 Smith's opera Blood Wedding premiered in Cleveland.

He moved to New York in 1958 and taught at C. W. Post College on Long Island, New York until 1970. He later taught at the University of Connecticut.

His awards include the first composition prize of BMI Student Composer Awards sponsored by Broadcast Music, Inc. (1952), the Cleveland Arts Prize (1973), and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1988).

He received an honorary doctorate from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1988.

Smith died on November 24, 2009, from the complications of a stroke, in Freeport, Long Island, New York, at the age of 84.[2]

Selected works

  • Orchestral Set (1952)[3]
  • In Memoriam - Beryl Rubinstein (1953)
  • The Valley Wind (1955)
  • Contours for Orchestra (1960)
  • By Yearning and By Beautiful (1964)
  • Evocation (1966)
  • Music for harp and chamber orchestra (1967)
  • I Love Music (c. 1974) - subsequently recorded by Betty Carter,[4] Joe Lovano,[5] and Ahmad Jamal on his album The Awakening
  • Somersault (1974)
  • Ritual and Incantation (1974)
  • Innerflexions (1977)
  • Toussaint L'Ouverture, 1803 (1979)
  • Meditations in Passage (1982)
  • Variations à due (1984)
  • Dialogues & Commentaries (199091)


"Hale Smith Day" was declared for February 21, 2010 by the Honorable Andrew Hardwick, Mayor of the village of Freeport, at a concert given in Smith's honor at the South Nassau Unitarian Universalist Congregation. The congregation, located in Freeport, has a Hale Smith Day concert each February in conjunction with the Long Island Composers' Alliance.


  1. De Lerma, Dominique-Rene. "African Heritage Symphonic Series". Liner note essay. Cedille Records CDR061.
  2. Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed November 2009
  3. Hale Smith, African American Composer, Pianist & Professor. African Heritage in Classical Music. AfriClassical.com (2006). Retrieved on 12 November 2013. (N.b.: this citation applies to the entire list of works.)
  4. (2011) Encyclopedia of African American Music, ABC-CLIO. URL accessed 12 November 2013.
  5. Giddins, Gary (1998). Visions of Jazz: The First Century, Oxford University Press. URL accessed 12 November 2013.
  • Breda, Malcolm Joseph. (1975). Hale Smith: A Biographical and Analytical Study of the Man and His Music. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Southern Mississippi.
  • Caldwell, Hansonia La Verne (1975). "Conversation With Hale Smith, A Man of Many Parts." The Black Perspective in Music, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 5976 (spring 1975).

External links

This page was last modified 07.12.2013 21:24:22

This article uses material from the article Hale Smith from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.