Smith, David Stanley, 1877-1949

Alternative names
Birth 1877-07-06
Death 1949-12-17

Biographical notes:

Composed 1921; revised 1930. First performance New Haven, 22 February 1931, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, the composer conducting, Georges Barrère soloist.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Fête galante : fantasy for flute and orchestra, op. 48 / David Stanley Smith. [1930] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54802064

Composed 1928. First performance Cleveland, 8 January, 1931, Cleveland Orchestra, the composer conducting.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphony no. 3 in C minor, op. 60 / David Stanley Smith. [1928]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 41954306

American composer.

From the description of The David Stanley Smith papers, 1889-1958 (inclusive). (Yale University). WorldCat record id: 702191407

From the description of The David Stanley Smith papers, 1889-1958 (inclusive). (Yale University). WorldCat record id: 122290290

David Stanley Smith was born in Toledo, Ohio, on July 6, 1877. He grew up in a musical household, and by the age of fifteen he had found employment as a church organist. In 1895 he went to Yale, where Charles Ives (Class of 1898) was numbered among his friends; he would later serve as the organist at Center Church in New Haven, a position formerly held by Ives. Smith was an outstanding student, and he became the protégé of Professor Horatio Parker. Smith's graduation ceremony in 1900 featured a performance of his Ode for Commencement Day, conducted by Parker. After college, Smith traveled throughout Europe, where he took lessons with Ludwig Thuille and Charles-Marie Widor.

In 1903 Smith returned to Yale as an instructor in music theory. He would remain a member the Yale faculty until his retirement in 1946. Horatio Parker died in 1919, and the next year Smith succeeded him as Dean of the School of Music, a post he would hold until 1940. Again following in Parker's footsteps, he also became the conductor of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

Despite his duties as a teacher, administrator, and conductor, Smith was able to compose a substantial amount of music, including one opera, Merrymount, five symphonies, ten string quartets, many sacred works, and a variety of other compositions.

Smith married Cora Deming Welch in 1913. They had one son, Christopher Stanley Smith.

David Stanley Smith died in New Haven on December 17, 1949.

From the guide to the The David Stanley Smith Papers, 1889-1958 (inclusive), (Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University)


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  • Music--Manuscripts
  • Piano music
  • Songs
  • Flute with orchestra--Scores and parts
  • Symphonies--Scores
  • Songs (medium voice) with piano
  • Sonatas (Viola and piano)--Scores and parts
  • Composers--Correspondence
  • Organ music
  • Music--United States--20th century
  • Operas--Excerpts--Vocal scores with piano
  • Symphonies--Scores and parts
  • Music--20th century
  • String quartets--Scores
  • Canon, fugues, etc. (Organ)
  • Music--Manuscripts--Facsimiles
  • Violin with orchestra--Solo with piano


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  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)