The Full Wiki

Barry Smith (organist): Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Barry Smith (born 1939) is a South African organist, choral and orchestral conductor, author, and musicologist.


Early life and education

Born in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, Smith was a choirboy at St Mary's Collegiate Church.[1] In 1956, Smith was awarded a scholarship to Rhodes University[1] in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape Province, where he completed his Ph.D. degree. In 1960, Smith went to the United Kingdom on scholarship to the Royal School of Church Music[1].


Smith then returned to South Africa to serve as Director of Music for two years at the Michaelhouse senior school for boys in KwaZulu-Natal province. In 1964, Smith was appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers of St George's Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa, a post he held until 2006 for a record forty-two years.[2]

From 1966 to 1999, Smith was on the staff of the Faculty of Music at the University of Cape Town, from which university he also holds a DMus degree. In 1964, Smith founded the St. George's Singers, which he still directs. Besides conducting in the United Kingdom, Austria, and Israel, Smith has made several solo recital tours both in America and England where he has played in many prestigious venues, including Westminster Abbey and King's College, Cambridge.

He has adjudicated in Hong Kong and directed music courses in Perth, Australia and in Washington D.C. In June 2007, Smith and his St George's Singers took part in the Sir Edward Elgar 150th Anniversary Celebrations in Worcester, England, where he also conducted the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in Worcester Cathedral.

Honours and awards

In 1989 Archbishop Desmond Tutu awarded Smith with the Order of Simon of Cyrene, the highest honour the Anglican Church of Southern Africa can bestow on a layman.

Smith has received honorary fellowships from the Guild of Church Musicians in the United Kingdom in 1989[3], the Royal School of Church Music in 1994, and the Academy of St Cecilia in 2008[4].

In 2009 the Cape Tercentenary Foundation awarded him the Gold Molteno medal for lifetime achievement in the performing arts.[5]


The Oxford University Press published his major new biography of the English composer Peter Warlock (Philip Heseltine) in 1994 to mark the centenary of his birth Peter Warlock: The Life of Philip Heseltine (Oxford University Press, 1994, ISBN 978-0-19-816606-1)[6].

Since then he has published three further books on Warlock, including as editor of Frederick Delius and Peter Warlock: A Friendship Revealed (Oxford University Press, 2000, ISBN 978-0-19-816706-8)[7], and the four-volume The Collected Letters of Peter Warlock (Woodbridge, 2005)[8].


  1. ^ a b c "Cape Philharmonic Oratorio Festival". Cape philharmonic orchestra. Retrieved 2008-07-04.  
  2. ^ "Cathedral Music". St George's Cathedral, Cape Town. Retrieved 2008-07-04. "Barry Smith was appointed as Organist and Master of the Choristers in 1964 - the first South African to hold this position, in which he continued for 42 years."  
  3. ^ "Officers of the guild". The Guild of Church Musicians. Retrieved 2008-07-04. "HONORARY FELLOWS [...] 1989 Dr Barry Smith"  
  4. ^ "Honorary Members of the Academy". Academy of St Cecilia. Retrieved 2008-08-06.  
  5. ^ Greyling, Eduard (2009-11-05). "Bydraers tot verskeie kunste vereer" (in Afrikaans). Die Burger: p. 13. "Smith vir sy lewenswerk op die gebied van musiek"  
  6. ^ "Peter Warlock: The Life of Philip Heseltine. Barry Smith". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-07-04.  
  7. ^ "Frederick Delius and Peter Warlock: A Friendship Revealed. Edited by Barry Smith". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-07-04.  
  8. ^ "Collected Letters of Peter Warlock". Boydell & Brewer Ltd. Retrieved 2008-07-04.  

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address