Born 13 May 1939, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Organist, harpsichordist, pianist, choirtrainer, teacher, lecturer, musicologist, author, choral and orchestral conductor, music critic, and composer.
Barry Smith has given organ recitals in all the major cities in South Africa (Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, Pietermaritzburg, Kimberley, Bloemfontein, Stellenbosch, Grahamstown, Graaff-Reinet, Oudtshoorn, and Prince Albert) and Zimbabwe; in England at King's College and St John's College, Cambridge, Chichester, Salisbury, Winchester, Worcester (3 recitals), and Southwark Cathedrals as well as at St Paul's Cathedral, London; in the USA in New York, White Plains, Chicago, Portland (Oregon), and Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.
He has had numerous conducting and solo concerto engagements with the CTSO, CAPAB and NAPAC orchestras as well as frequent appearances on BBC, SATV and SABC since 1958. He has also toured Austria and Israel directing the St George's Singers in a concert tour and took part in the 1993 and 1996 Worcester Three Choirs Festivals. He has worked together with some of the world's most distinguished conductors, organists and choirtrainers, including Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Sir David Willcocks (formerly King's College, Cambridge and the RCM), Simon Preston (formerly Christ Church, Oxford and Westminster Abbey), Dr Donald Hunt (formerly Worcester Cathedral), Christopher Robinson (formerly St John's College, Cambridge, Worcester Cathedral and St George's Chapel, Windsor), Dr Allan Wicks (formerly Canterbury Cathedral), David Hill (St John's College, Cambridge, the London Bach Choir and formerly Winchester Cathedral), Dr Gerre Hancock (formerly St Thomas' Church, New York), and Dr John Birch (formerly Temple Church and Chichester Cathedral). He also appears regularly at the Grahamstown and Klein Karoo Festivals.
He was elected an Honorary Patron of the Herbert Howells Society in England (1987) and in 1989 Archbishop Desmond Tutu made him a member of the Order of Simon of Cyrene, the highest honour the Anglican Church in Southern Africa can bestow on a layman. He was responsible for the music at two important events in the emerging 'new' South Africa: the enthronement of Archbishop Tutu in St George's Cathedral in 1986 and the graduation ceremony at the University of Cape Town in 1990 when Mr Nelson Mandela received an honorary degree. In 1994 he was awarded the prestigious Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship and in 1995 he was in charge of the music at a service in St George's Cathedral which was attended by Queen Elizabeth II during her state visit to South Africa. In 1998 he was a member of the Hong Kong jury for the Asia/Pacific round of the Calgary International Organ Competition. In January 2000 he ran the annual Summer School of the Royal School of Church Music in Perth, Australia, and later the same year was on a panel of distinguished musicians under the chairmanship of Dame Janet Baker to judge at the Elgar Choral festival in Worcester, England. In 2003 he travelled to America to direct a choral course for the Royal School of Church Music in the National Cathedral in Washington DC.
He is the Cape Town correspondent and critic for the British monthly magazine Opera. An acknowledged authority on the life and music of the English composer, Peter Warlock (1894-1930) his biography of this composer was published in 1994 by the Oxford University Press in England to mark the centenary of his birth. An edition of the correspondence between Peter Warlock and Frederick Delius was published by the OUP in 2000. He has written numerous articles on Warlock and has also contributed articles on the composer for the new Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the New Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford). In December 2004 Boydell and Brewer will be publishing his edition of the collected letters of Peter Warlock in 4 volumes.