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Beautiful Music NOW - Hale Smith

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

American composer, arranger, and pianist Hale Smith was on the faculty of The University of Connecticut in the Music Department from 1972 until 1987. (full disclosure: I was a music student at UConn during Dr. Smith's tenure there, and had the honor to meet him and perform some of his music) Cleveland, Ohio-born Hale Smith started playing piano as a young boy, and was playing jazz in local nightclubs by his teens. After serving in the US Army, he studied classical music and composition at the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music, where he earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees.

According to UConn Library's ARCHIVES & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, "He worked as a jazz pianist and arranger with Eric Dolphy, Dizzy Gillespie, Ahmad Jamal, Melba Liston, Oliver Nelson, and Randy Weston and wrote incidental music for television, radio, and theater. With Chico Hamilton he wrote music for the movie Mr. Ricco (1975)." What a delightful surprise to discover this performance by pianist William Chapman Nyaho of Hale Smith's composition BREAKING BREAD WITH EGBERT, which is today's Beautiful Music.

You can also use the links below to learn more about Hale Smith:


Suzanne Bona is the host and executive producer of Sunday Baroque, a nationally syndicated weekly radio show of Baroque and early music which she originated on WSHU in 1987.