After being introduced to the piano by his mother when he was 5 years old, PHILIP ALLEN SMITH began studying organ at age 12. Soon afterwards, he became the organist for his father’s parish church in Toledo, Ohio and gave his first public solo organ recital just two years later. Today, Smith is the Organ Conservator for one of the premiere concert venues in the nation, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, where his duties include bedazzling visitors with “demonstration performances” on what may well be the Hall’s most acclaimed feature, its visually astonishing and acoustically unparalleled pipe organ.
Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Organ from Spring Arbor College in Michigan (1974) and a Master of Music Degree in Organ and Church Music from the University of Michigan (1978). He was appointed Organ Conservator of the Walt Disney Concert Hall organ in July of 2004. In addition, he is Minister of Music and Organist at The Church of our Saviour, Episcopal, in San Gabriel as well as the former Organist and Choir Director at Temple Israel of Hollywood.
Whether appearing as a soloist, a member of the Price/Smith Duo for trumpet and organ, or as an accompanist for choral groups like the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Anglican Chorale of Southern California, the Cambridge Singers, and the Ventura Master Chorale, Smith has earned bravos worldwide – from Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; Wiesbaden, Germany; and Dublin, Ireland in Europe to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Hollywood in the United States. He has also received invitations to perform for the AGO Chapter of Los Angeles and the former Pasadena Chapter. Also he has played at Wells Cathedral and St. Paul’s Cathedral in England, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Ireland, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, The First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, Grace Cathedral, Hollywood United Methodist and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California and many other venues in the United States. The last three years he has been organist for the Holiday Sing-Along concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The virtuoso organist can often be found in the classroom as well – offering lessons not only in organ but in piano and voice, too. In 2006, he recorded and was interviewed for the book about the Walt Disney Concert Hall pipe organ titled A Forest of Pipes, written by Jennifer Zobelein. The book was released with a demonstration CD on the organ narrated by organ builder and expert Manuel Rosales, who built the instrument with Glatter-Gotz.