Simon Smith Piano Recital Review

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Lunchtime concerts at Edinburgh University
Programme of works by Leighton and Harper
Simon Smith (piano)
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Simon Smith was born in Northumberland in 1983. He learned to play the piano at St Mary's Music School before reading Music at Clare College, Cambridge. Back in Edinburgh he is a music engraver as well as a performer who specialises in contemporary music.

He played three contemporary pieces; the first was a first performance of Kenneth Leighton's Piano Sonata No 3 written at the age of 25 in Naples. Leighton appears not to have been happy with the composition but Simon Smith's description of somewhat intense, finely-wrought and highly contrapuntal made it enjoyable listening from a talented pianist.

For over forty years Edward Harper was on the staff of the Faculty of Music at Edinburgh University and died earlier this year. Simon Smith played his Ballad for piano, written in 2004, tellingly, as the test piece for that year's Scottish International Piano Competition. Tellingly because it sounded fun but was probably very hard to play accurately.

Finally Four Romantic Pieces, Op 95 from Kenneth Leighton, his final piece for piano before he died in 1988. From 1970 Kenneth Leighton was Reid Professor of Music at Edinburgh University. These four distinct pieces were described by Leighton as of rich texture with music mainly lyrical.

Event: Tuesday 6 October 2009 1.10pm