David J. Smith is an organist, harpsichordist and
recorder player. He specialises in early seventeenth-century keyboard music
from England and The Netherlands, and in improvisation in a variety of styles
and idioms. 'David J. Smith is renowned for his improvisations … he gave us a
sturdy Prelude and Fugue in the German Baroque style and … he brought the
recital to a close with a Toccata-like modern piece, full of wonderful sharp
edges, twists and turns and excellent good humour.'
Before moving to Northumbria University in September 2018
as Founding Head of Music, David was professor in music at the University of
Aberdeen, where he served as Head of Music and was Master of Chapel and
David’s recording of sacred vocal music and organ works
by J.S. Bach with the Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen, met with critical
acclaim. The 5* review in Choir &
Organ described an ‘unforgettable experience’ in which ‘the text is
interpreted with great sensitivity, intelligence and breath control’ and ‘Bach
chorale preludes provide contemplative interludes between the vocal works’. The
CD has been broadcast on Radio 3, Radio Scotland and in the USA.
On Exiled, David
directed the choir in two motets by Peter Philips (1560/61–1628) with
internationally acclaimed Rose Consort of Viols. The Rose Consort performs
pieces from his scholarly edition of consort music by Philips and Richard
Dering (c.1580–1630) for Musica
Britannica alongside keyboard pieces by Philips played by David from his
edition for the same series. ‘With the Rose Consort listeners know that they will be
hearing consummate performances. David Smith is not only the world expert on
Philips now, but is also himself a fine harpsichordist.’ (Early Music Review).
As a member of AB24, David plays harpsichord continuo and
recorder. As well as performing with AB24, David gives solo organ recitals. He
has given masterclasses in improvisation, French classical organ repertoire and
early English keyboard music in the UK and in Poland, where in 2016 he was
invited to teach on the Academy of Improvisation in Gdańsk.