The 38th annual Festival of the Performing Arts will take place from March 7 to 15 at the NVSS Integris Community Theatre.
Monday March 7, Speech Arts
Friday March 11, Strings
Monday March 14 to Wednesday March 16 Piano
Monday March 14, 7:30 p.m. Interactive choral workshop for all by Dr. Stephen Smith
Tuesday March 15, 7:30 p.m.
“Breaking Bach”, Piano workshop about his Preludes and Fugues for all by Dr. Stephen Smith
Sunday March 20, 2:30 p.m. Spring Arts Gala Concert
More information can be found on www.musicfestivalweb.com/nechako or Facebook page.
Dr. Stephen Smith, Piano Adjudicator
Listeners, critics, and audience members know Stephen Smith as “a sensitive and dynamic performer” with a “highly poetic touch” and “superb musicianship which illuminates everything he plays.” Simon Carrington (one of the founding members of the Kings Singers) has called Smith “a magnificent pianist,” saying, “It’s a privilege to hear such beautiful playing!” And renowned pianist Jane Coop has called her former student “an extremely intelligent and perceptive musician who has great facility and strength in his technique. His performances are fascinating programmatically and intriguing musically. He is dynamic and exciting on stage, with a compelling, persuasive temperament.”
Dr. Smith grew up in rural Nova Scotia, where he sang and played the piano from an early age. After initial studies in his home province in both piano and organ, he attended the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England. While there he participated in national and international competitions, and won numerous awards and distinctions. Since 1990, Stephen has lived in Vancouver, obtaining his doctoral degree in piano performance from the University of British Columbia, and contributing to the musical life of the city as a performer, teacher, conductor, arranger and composer.
His wide-ranging musical experience extends from working with church and community choirs, through teaching piano and theory to students of all ages and at all levels, to giving solo and chamber music performances and working regularly with some of Vancouver’s finest professional ensembles, including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Chamber Choir.
Smith is also a published composer who has been commissioned by the CBC, the National Youth Choir, and the BC Choral Federation, among many others, and whose choral music is frequently recorded and performed across North America and beyond. His work as both pianist and composer can be heard on dozens of CDs in commercial release, including a solo disc of classical piano miniatures entitled Kaleidoscope, available on iTunes.
As a teacher, his special interests include: the production of a seamless cantabile line; attaining brilliance, evenness, and clarity through finger strength and independence; and helping students to self-diagnose technical problems and solve them by applying appropriate practice techniques. Analytical and historical specialties include the music of Bach, Brahms, and Schumann.