Dan Franklin Smith


Smith’s special recital for 4th-graders!

To answer your question about Dan’s concert with our 4th-graders—it is one thing to connect with piano students at whatever level, but something else entirely when connecting to non-musical 10 year olds to make a point, to keep their interest, and pique their curiosity.

Dan mesmerized the kids in a Pied Piper sort of way. He was riveting, totally connecting with the kids in easily understandable language. He was making an effort to talk “to them” and involve them in the instrument.

Children are still discovering and to some, it was their first time around the instrument and the music. He really held their interest. I have found that parents are so-o-o busy, so a little attention to the kids without making them feel they’re supposed to learn something was a real change of pace.

Greg agrees with me that Dan did a great job…and the kids responded.

—Teri Morrow, Indian Wells Valley Concert Association

A Classical Evening at Soka University

Pianist Dan Franklin Smith

Hailing from New York City, Dan Franklin Smith presented a lively evening of Gershwin, Chopin and Andre Previn when he joined the Soka University Concert Band for a presentation at Soka University on Friday, March 5, 2010. The evening, which was a benefit for the university’s scholarship fund, was well attended by local residents, students and professors.

One of the pieces, Concerto for Piano and Band, was performed with the extremely talented and gifted SUA Concert Band, directed by Alfred Lang. This collaborative piece received a rousing round of applause.

The second half of the concert presented works by Frederick Chopin, one of my favourite composers, with mazurkas, very lively, and waltzes from the ballet “Les Sylphides.”

Graduating as a piano major from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Mr. Smith has played throughout the US and Europe. His European appearances include London recitals at St.-Martin-in-the-Fields, recitals and orchestral work in Sweden, Norway, France, Croatia, Ukraine, Belgium, Poland and Germany. This year he will be appearing at the Bruckner Festival in Linz, Austria, among many other venues.

He has been praised by German newspapers for “stirring emotionalism, precision with keen intensity, the subtle hesitations and shifts that constitute great expression.”

I must say I agree—the concert was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

—Anthony Houghton, Soka University of America

Reif Performing Arts Center

‘Master pianist’ Dan Franklin Smith to play at the Reif

Dan Franklin Smith, presented in recital at the Reif Performing Arts Center, has been described as “an incredibly sensitive player” and “a master pianist.”

Accolades such as “breathtakingly beautiful,” “technical wizardry,” and “brilliant technique and emotional fervor” appear in every review.

Smith enjoys national and international recognition as an important recitalist. He is often invited to return once, twice, or as many as half a dozen times to venues where he performs. His audiences do not forget him or the “amazing artistic moment” they have experienced in his work.

In a special performance the day after his recital, Smith will play an original piano composition at the Reif. Entitled “Suite for Piano,” it was written by Grand Rapids High School student David Johnson. Johnson was given the National Federation of Music Clubs Junior Composers Laura K. Wilson award in May of 2006, and has played the piano for nine years.

A New York City resident, Franklin Smith graduated as a piano major from the attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He made his European debut in 1997 in a solo recital just outside of Stockholm, Sweden where he received a standing ovation and rave reviews.

The following year he made his European orchestral debut, and was later featured on Swedish television’s classical music program, “Musikspegeln.” A debut CD soon followed, which was broadcast on radio stations throughout Sweden and the United States.

Franklin Smith has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician and vocal accompanist at such venues across the United States as the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Cleveland Museum’s Distinguished Artist Series, and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City.

See Franklin Smith at the Reif Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at Reed Drug or the Reif Center Box Office, by calling 218-327-5780 or visiting www.reifcenter.org. This performance is being underwritten by the Sawmill Inn and Country Inn.

Herald-Review, Grand Rapids, Michigan, January 15, 2007