Clive Driskill-Smith Organ Recital

On February 5, 2021 at 7:00 pm, FUMCFW Music and Worship Arts is delighted to present via Livestream an organ recital by world-renowned Clive Driskill-Smith as our opening Gift of Music concert for 2021.

British organist Clive Driskill-Smith has taken the classical music world by storm, enthralling audiences from Beijing to Boston to Budapest with his extraordinary playing and fearless programming. Critics have praised his “blazing technique and unbelievable virtuosity” (Chiff Chat, American Guild of Organists) and described his performances as “intensely moving and truly breathtaking” (Organo Pleno, Australia). His solo recitals, and duo performances with Grammy Award-winning percussionist Joseph Gramley, bring audiences to their feet across the world.

Mr. Driskill-Smith is the Organist and Choirmaster at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, Texas, a post that he combines with an international concert career. During the last few years, he has performed at the National Cathedral in Washington DC, Melbourne Town Hall, Westminster Abbey, the Grand Philharmonic Hall in Perm (Russia), and the National Performing Arts Center in Taipei. He has played at festivals – such as the BBC Proms, the East Texas Pipe Organ Festival, and National Conventions of the American Guild of Organists – and he has worked with numerous conductors, including Dr. Stephen Darlington, Klaus Tennstedt, and Sir Colin Davis.

In 2004, Clive Driskill-Smith and Joseph Gramley (multi-percussionist and founding member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble) formed the duo Organized Rhythm. They play mesmerizing arrangements of orchestral classics, commission new works, record music videos, and captivate audiences with their explosion of energy, sound, and musicality.

Mr. Driskill-Smith’s performances have been broadcast on the BBC (UK), NHK (Japan), Pipedreams (USA), and on radio and television throughout the world. His CDs have received critical acclaim (“a master performer in a range of musical styles … his playing is immaculate” Organists’ Review; “the technique is brilliant, the interpretation faultless … a first-class recording” The Organ), and he has recorded albums with Peter Gabriel on Virgin Records, and with Howard Goodall on EMI Classics.

Mr. Driskill-Smith was educated at Eton College, where he was an Oppidan Scholar (an academic award) and a Music Scholar; founded by King Henry VI in 1440, Eton is a school for boys aged thirteen to eighteen, and its alumni include twenty British prime ministers, as well as Princes William and Harry. After Eton, he read Music at Christ Church, Oxford, graduating in 1999 with a Double First (First Class Honors in both examinations), and with the MPhil (Master of Philosophy) degree in 2001; Christ Church is one of Oxford University’s thirty-nine colleges, and is famous for its connection with Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter.

Before learning the organ, Mr. Driskill-Smith played the piano and the bassoon. During his teens, he performed piano concertos by Rachmaninov, Mozart, Shostakovich, and Beethoven, and in 1996 he was awarded the ARCM (Associate of the Royal College of Music) diploma in Piano Performance. He also played the bassoon in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and in the National Youth Chamber Orchestra.

In earlier years, it was easier to get into Oxford if you applied for an organ scholarship, so he started learning the organ at the age of 15 and was fortunate to be awarded the Christopher Tatton Organ Scholarship at Christ Church. He studied principally with David Sanger, who encouraged him to travel throughout Europe in order to play historic organs and take classes with Marie-Claire Alain, Guy Bovet, Thierry Escaich, Hans Fagius, Andrea Marcon, Luigi Tagliavini, Thomas Trotter, and Harald Vogel. He was awarded the FRCO (Fellow of the Royal College of Organists) diploma in 1998 and went on to win several international competitions, including the Performer of the Year competition in 2000 and the Calgary International Organ Competition in 2002.

From 2001 to 2018, Mr. Driskill-Smith was the organist at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, England. He lived in Auden Cottage – once the home of the poet W. H. Auden – and worked closely with Dr. Stephen Darlington, director of the world-famous choir. He played for the daily services in the twelfth-century Cathedral and for the choir’s many concerts, award-winning recordings, media broadcasts, and tours to China, Japan, Brazil, Jamaica, Bermuda, the USA, France, Germany, and Portugal. He conducted the choir during Dr. Darlington’s sabbaticals, and he directed performances of Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Bach’s Johannes-Passion, and Britten’s Curlew River.

Alongside his work in Oxford, Mr. Driskill-Smith was a Trustee of the Royal College of Organists and of the Eric Thompson Charitable Trust for Organists and Organ Music. He was also Professor of Organ at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and a Tutor for the Royal College of Organists, and for Oundle for Organists. He has given lectures and masterclasses around the world, most recently at the Juilliard School in New York City, Yonsei University in Seoul, and the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

Mr. Driskill-Smith is a member of the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and he is on the planning committee for the Association of Anglican Musicians’ 2021 Convention in Dallas. He is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, one of the ancient Livery Companies which evolved from London’s medieval guilds. The Company awarded him the Silver Medal in 1998 and the W. T. Best Scholarship in 2002. As a Liveryman and a Freeman of the City of London, he is allowed to take sheep across London Bridge – a right he has not yet exercised!

Clive Driskill-Smith is represented in North America exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC.

In this recital, Mr. Driskill-Smith will perform the following program live in the beautiful FUMCFW Sanctuary on the Anne S. and Henry B. Paup Sanctuary Pipe Organ :

La Chasse, Charles-Marie Widor
Carillon, Leo Sowerby

Sonata Op. 65 No. 1, Felix Mendelssohn

Allegro moderato e serioso
Andante recitativo
Allegro assai vivace

Allegretto (from Sonata in G major, Op. 28), Edward Elgar

Salamanca, Guy Bovet
Andante in F major, Henry Smart
Paean, Kenneth Leighton
Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654, Johann Sebastian Bach
Tu es petra et portæ inferi non prævalebunt adversus te, Henri Mulet

One Grand Night

Join us for “One Grand Night,” a fundraising event benefiting Spectrum Chamber Music Society, on Thursday, May 27 starting at 7:00 pm, in-person in our beautiful and historic

Sanctuary. After a year of presenting livestream-only events, this will be Spectrum’s first live, in-person event since the pandemic began in early 2020! The concert will also be live-streamed, both for our out-of-town audience and for those who do not feel comfortable around crowds.

Reflecting on his own thoughts and feelings about returning to in-person performance after more than a year of your “Six-Feet-Apart” virtual venues, Spectrum Director Dan Sigale says, “We are so thankful for the support we have received during this challenging period. The livestream-only events we have presented with First United Methodist Church allowed us to not only reach the members of our own community, but also people around the country and the world. Understandably, however, the artists have missed the incredible feeling we get from performing to a live, in-person audience, and we are looking forward to reconnecting musically with our supporters. (Of course, we also hope to continue to livestream our in-person performances for the benefit of our out-of-town fans.)”

Sigale says that this extra-special end-of-season event will be “one grand night” for so many reasons, but most especially because Miguel Harth-Bedoya, FWSO’s Music Director Laureate, will be making his Spectrum debut as he conducts a 13-musician ensemble in Mozart’s beloved Serenade No. 10 in B-Flat Major, better known as his Gran Partita. “This piece is large in scale,” Sigale explains, “and is very much at home alongside Mozart’s great symphonies. When we began to think about having live, in-person performances again, we knew we wanted to come back with something big and exciting to celebrate a new, post-pandemic chapter — something bright and sunny that conveys a sense of optimism for the future. Mozart’s Gran Partita checks all those boxes.”

“As a bonus, we were fortunate to get Miguel Harth-Bedoya, who ended his 20-year tenure with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at the end of last season, to conduct our fantastic wind ensemble, made up of FWSO musicians and other fine artists from the area. Because the end of Miguel’s tenure collided with the pandemic and the resulting shutting down of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra for pretty much the rest of that season, our orchestra and his fans missed out on the opportunity to give him a proper send-off. Thankfully, since the FWSO began presenting live concerts again last fall, Miguel has been able to lead the orchestra a few more times, including our recent performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. He remains very popular in Fort Worth classical music circles, so we couldn’t imagine a better artist to have a starring role in the most ambitious event in Spectrum history!”

And following this fantastic conclusion to Spectrum’s 34th Season, an exclusive outdoor meet-and-greet reception organized by Spectrum Board Member Dotty Hall will immediately follow the concert in our beautiful Garden courtyard,

Those who would like to attend our event can purchase tickets to the concert and reception for $75 or the concert only for $25 through our Ticket Tailor page. In addition, there are sponsorship levels of $150, $250, and $500, if people would like to support Spectrum in a larger way (sponsorships include between one and four tickets to the concert and reception). People have until May 23 to reserve their places at the reception — beginning May 24, only concert tickets will be available.

“Our regular-season performances are free,” Sigale adds, “so we rely on donations and sponsorships to compensate our musicians for their time and talent. The proceeds from this event will go toward increasing the amount we are able give these artists. For almost 25 years, Spectrum has been fortunate to have First United Methodist Church as both a financial sponsor and as a home base, and we are thankful that they have continued to sponsor us (in many ways) since the pandemic began. However, due to the inability to have in-person concerts, we lost out on the donations we usually receive from audiences at our east side concerts at First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church. This season, we also brought Spectrum to the next level by incorporating and receiving 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit status, which came with its own expenses. So we felt that this fundraiser — the first of its kind in Spectrum’s history — would be a great way to increase our kitty, thereby translating into more artist compensation.”

Sigale says he is especially excited about the “One Grand Night” raffle, the winner of which will be able to host a private Spectrum concert in their home. He explains, “If you’ve ever been to a chamber music house concert, you already know how amazing the experience is. There’s something about the intimacy of a performance with a smaller audience in a private home that is special for both the attendees and the artists. And as we begin to come out of the darkest days of the pandemic, we are confident that the new normal will include the ability to gather again in venues of all sizes. So we thought it would be a great idea to hold a raffle in which the prize is the opportunity to host a private Spectrum house concert in the winner’s own home! We will provide the music and musicians for a one-hour program and leave it up to the winner to decide what else they want to do to make their event special. Raffle tickets are $25 per ticket, with a special deal of five tickets for $100. They can be ordered online through Ticket Tailor or in person on the night of the event, but the winner does not need to be present at the drawing to win…although they will need to live in the area, of course.”