Robert's debut CD The Franz Liszt Memorial Organ in Weimar (see the CD page for details) has recently been reviewed in The Organ and the Organ Club Journal:
"[T]he organ produces tones that are clean and exact, which is ideally exploited in those works where a clear texture is required, as in Liszt's ethereal reworking of Arcadelt's Ave Maria, or the crystalline lines of Pärt's [...] Annum per annum. [...] The rapid flourishes of Patrick Gowers's Occasional Trumpet Voluntary are fluid, and the premiere of the twenty-year-old Bertie Baigent's Bright spark is suitably luminous. [...] [Robert Smith's] playing is accomplished and dependable."
**** (four-star rating)
Curtis Rogers, The Organ Magazine No. 375 (February-April 2016), p. 53
"Robert shows what this organ can do in a 62-minute programme featuring 12 works. He starts with Bach BWV 546, then Bright spark, a world première recording of Bertie Baigent [born 1995] of a work commissioned for the concert. [...] A very enjoyable recording, and especially pleasing to have a disc from a young player. - Well done, Robert. I would suggest a visit to the company website http://www.jubal.de - allow plenty of time."
Organ Club Journal 2016/1, p. 66
On Sunday 20th March Robert will be accompanying a performance of John Stainer's oratorio The Crucifixion at the Central Methodist Church, York.
The choir will be conducted by John Bradbury and the two solo parts will be sung by James Brown (tenor) and Mark Wharfedale (bass).
Singers who are interested in joining the choir are requested to bring a copy of the Novello score if possible. Please send an email to this address specifying the part you will be singing by 10th March 2016.
The performance starts at 6:30pm, with a rehearsal at 2:30pm.
Award-winning composer Bertie Baigent is currently writing a new piece for Robert: proud rock/bright sky will receive its world premiere as part of Robert's 2016 summer tour.
Bright spark, shot from a brighter place, the result of Bertie's and Robert's first collaboration, was released on CD in spring 2015.
From 25th July until 9 August 2015 Robert will be playing eight recitals in Germany (see the concert diary for full details) and record a second CD.
Recital venues include the St.-Jakobs-Kirche in Köthen with its 1872 Ladegast organ, the Friedenskirche in Potsdam, the Taborkirche in Leipzig, two churches in Berlin, the St.-Marien-Kirche in Pirna, the St.-Annen-Kirche in Annaberg-Buchholz and the Frauenkirche in Nuremberg.
The recitals will feature works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, Hubert Parry, Edward Elgar, Percy Whitlock, Healey Willan, Herbert Howells, Olivier Messiaen, Guy Bovet, Alastair Putt and Richard Gowers.
7 June 2015, 9pm (GMT) - Robert's new CD will be featured on MDR Figaro's radio programme Orgelmagazin.
Presenter Claus Fischer and producer Horst Brauner will be discussing the Franz Liszt Memorial Organ in Weimar, the repertoire featured on the CD and Robert's collaboration with composer Bertie Baigent.