• Interview with Henry Charles Smith

    International Tuba-Euphonium Association Oral History Project

    Oral History Interview of Mr. Henry Charles Smith III

    Recorded in Bloomington, Indiana October 5th , 2001
    Henry Charles Smith III
    Carole Nowicke
    Approved by Narrator, January 2002
    , International Tuba-Euphonium Association
    This article appears with permission of the ITEA. It it one of over 40 such interviews with famous tuba and euphonium players, which are available to all ITEA members.
    See this blog post to learn more about the other oral history interviews.

    Henry Charles Smith III

    Henry Charles Smith won the Grammy with the Philadelphia Brass Quintet for the "Best Classical Record of the Year" in 1969. While on the conducting staff of the Minnesota Orchestra, he conducted more than 1,000 concerts. As principal trombonist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, he played more than 2,000 concerts with Eugene Ormandy and many of the 20th century's other great conductors. As trombone and euphonium soloist, chamber music player, and writer and editor, his recordings and editions are internationally known.

    Guest conducting engagements include the Detroit, Dallas, and Kansas City symphonies; St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; and the Indianapolis, San Antonio, and Phoenix symphonies. He has served on the faculties of the Curtis Institute of Music, Indiana University, Temple University, and the University of Texas, and is a Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University. Mr. Smith has been a frequent guest conductor, speaker, clinician, and soloist across the United States. He has conducted the Young Artist Orchestra at Tanglewood for 16 years. He recently completed his 12th and final season as music director of the South Dakota Symphony.

    Biographical note courtesy of Mr. Smith.

    this is a multi-page article.
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    Mr. Smith describes his early musical experiences, mentioning studies with Donald Reinhardt, Robert Lambert, and Charles Gusikoff, his education at the University of Pennsylvania and the Curtis Institute of Music, and the influence of William Kincaid and Marcel Tabuteau. He discusses his recordings with Glenn Gould, the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble, "Torchy Jones Quintet," and the famous Antiphonal Music of Gabrieli recording with the brass sections of the Philadelphia, Chicago, and Cleveland brass ensembles, as well as his solo albums on trombone and euphonium. Among works Mr. Smith commissioned were the Alan Hovhannes Symphony No. 29 for euphonium and orchestra, the Donald White Lyric Suite, and Charles Forsberg's Serenade for Euphonium and Orchestra, he discusses the background of the pieces as well as several trombone works by John Davison. He was also involved in changing the design of the valve ports and tuning mechanism for the Conn Constellation euphonium. Mr. Smith ends the interview by mentioning some of his former students at Indiana University.

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