Smith Holds Auditions for Piano Festival
Dr. Reid Smith, a native of Rockingham, has been invited to join the faculty at the International Piano Festival in Beziers, France, in 2007.
Smith will be bringing students from the Minnesota auditions, but because of his local connections, he would like to open the auditions to pianists in the Sandhills area as well. Pianists ages 6 to adult are invited to audition in April, and up to eight local pianists may be chosen for this experience.
To audition, students submit an application form, a list of the pieces for their required program, and a CD recording of some of their pieces, postmarked by April 21, and mailed directly to Smith. In lieu of the CD, auditions will also be held in Raleigh, April 21-22.
This audition will not be like a piano competition where one is judged by how perfectly they perform. Rather, Smith says he will be looking at someone's potential, talent, interest in piano, and whether he believes the applicant is ready to benefit from this experience.
Celebrating its 10th season, the Beziers Festival Faculty includes Oxana Yablonskaya, one of the major teachers at the Juilliard School, and instructors from the Far East, Europe, and Russia.
While growing up in North Carolina, Smith studied piano at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg and was organist for several years at Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Southern Pines. He was the first pianist representing North Carolina to win the National Stillmann Kelley Competition of the National Federation of Music Clubs.
He continued his studies in Boston, receiving his bachelor's degree in music at Boston University, followed by a master's at the Juilliard School in New York, studies as a Rotary Scholar at the Hochschule fur Musik in Vienna, Austria, and a doctorate at the University of Minnesota.
Currently, Smith lives in Minnesota and is director of the Dellwood Hills Piano School, with four piano instructors serving over 130 students. He has recorded two Chopin CDs, one including all 27 Etudes, and he toured for eight seasons throughout the United States under auspices of Columbia Artists. His most recent recital appearance in this area was at the Weymouth Center Concert Series, Southern Pines.
Smith has taught piano at Kent State University, the Juilliard School, the University of Minnesota, and St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn.
About the Festival
Beziers is located a few miles from the Mediterranean in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. The coastline, known as the Vermilion Coast, is a region immortalized by Matisse and Picasso, and is considered one of the most idyllic regions in France.
Students are provided with room and board and receive private lessons with Oxana Yablonskaya and Smith, as well as master classes with others on the international faculty. Students participate in recitals, may enter the festival competition for a performance in New York City, and receive tickets to all concerts, events, and sightseeing tours.
An observer's package is available for parents and others who want to attend. The Beziers Festival is family-oriented and, unlike most music festivals, offers an opportunity for students of all ages to expand their musical experience in an international setting.
Students chosen at the April audition must be prepared by Aug. 5 to present in France a memorized classical program representing several style periods, including two Etudes. Programs must be of the following lengths: 10 to 15 minutes, lower school students through fifth grade; 20 to 30 minutes, middle school students; and 45 to 60 minutes, high school students; 60 minutes, college students. Time requirements for adults vary, depending on their level.
The eight pianists chosen from North Carolina will have the option of presenting their programs in Minnesota in the Dellwood Hills Salon Concert Series and also in Raleigh as a preparation for their performances in France. Additionally, Smith might be available for a master class in Raleigh or Southern Pines prior to the festival.
Those interested in applying should contact Smith at DrReidSmith@aol.com.?
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