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Malcolm Smith (Bass)

Born: June 22, 1933 - Rockville Centre, New York, USA

The American bass, Malcolm Smith, holds degrees from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Columbia University, has studied at Indiana University.

Malcolm Smith made his European debut at the Spoleto Festival in Tristan und Isolde and his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1975 in La Gioconda. He toured Japan with the Metropolitan Opera and appeared in the world premiere of Robert Ward’s Abelard and Heloise at the Charlotte Opera. He made his New York City Opera debut in Prokofiev’s Flaming Angel, which he also performed at the Opera Bastille in Paris. Subsequent performances and recordings of George Frideric Handel’s Samson (1962) and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, both with Maurice Abravanel and Utah Symphony Orchestra, firmly established him on the American scene as an artist fluent in both opera and oratorio repertoire.

One of America’s leading basses, Malcolm Smith has appeared with the world’s major operatic and symphonic organizations. He has performed with such renowned companies as the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hamburg Opera Munich Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, and the Paris Opera Bastille, among many others. He has been heard in concert repertoire with such leading orchestras as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Philharmoniker, and the Baltimore Symphony, Montreal Symphony, and National Symphony Orchestra.

In 1996, the honorary title of “Kammersaenger” was bestowed on Malcolm Smith by the Opera in Düsseldorf, where he had been Principal Bass since 1971. Their production of Boris Godunov was staged for Smith, which he has since sung throughout Western Europe. He was King Henry in Lohengrin, a role he has also performed at Dresden’s Semperoper and at La Scala. He has performed countless operas with Düsseldorf, such as Tannhauser, Das Rheingold, Rosenkavalier, Siegfried, Lohengrin, Der Freischuetz, Barbiere, Parsifal, and Aida. Mr. Smith presented the role of Inquisitor in Düsseldorf Opera’s new production of Verdi’s Don Carlos, which was followed by King Mark in Wagner’s Tristan, Daland in Wagner’s Der fliegende Hollaender, Pimen in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, the Grand Inquisitor in Verdi’s Don Carlos, and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte.

Malcolm Smith performed L.v. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Portland Symphony, Berlioz’ Romeo and Juliet with Midland Symphony, the roles of Philip and the Inquisitor in Don Carlo at the Schwerin Festival in GermanyOther performances include Benjamin Britten’s Noyes Fludde with Grand Rapids Opera and Arkel in Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande with the Cincinnati Opera He sang in B. Britten’s Peter Grimes with Barcelona’s Gran Teatro del Liceu and the Teatro Real Madrid and in C. Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette with Hawaii Opera. Smith appeared in L.v. Beethoven’s Fidelio with Lorin Maazel and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and at the Bregenz Festival. In Brussels in the Teatro de la Monnaie’s production of Peter Grimes, With Teatro Regio di Turino, Italy. Smith presented Strauss’ Arabella and Der Rosenkavalier, Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, Rossini’s Barber of Seville, and Das Rheingold.

Malcolm Smith recorded Franz Liszt’s Grande Messe and Igor Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with the French Radio Orchestra in Paris. He appeared in the World Premiere of Penderecki’s The Black Mask at the Salzburg Festival. He sang Fafner in Das Rheingold with Georg Solti and Chicago Symphony Orchestra both in Chicago and in New York. L.v. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 he performed with Fort Wayne Philharmonic, J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (BWV 245) with Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and Mozart’s Requiem with the San Antonio Symphony.

Recently, Malcolm Smith performed Verdi Requiem with the Springfield Symphony (MA) and the role of Duc de Verone in Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at the Spoleto Festival USA. He also sang Verdi Requiem with Helena Symphony (MT) in the Spring of 2007.

Malcolm Smith is currently listed in Who’s Who in America.

Source: Dipeker Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2012)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




George Poinar


BWV 56

Robert Shaw


BWV 232 [3rd]

Links to other Sites

Malcolm Smith, bass (Disipeker)
Malcolm Smith (University of Southern Maine: School of Music)

Malcolm Smith, bass (Mercury Opera Rochester)

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