Ann Elise Smoot
ANN ELISE SMOOT performs throughout the United States, Great Britain, and Europe, with a repertoire that ranges from the 14th century to the present day. Her recital career was launched by success in two major competitions (including First Prize in the 1998 NYACOP) and she has received wide critical acclaim for her ability to move between musical eras, styles, and genres with sympathy and flair. After completing two degrees at Yale, where she won several major prizes for scholarship and for organ playing, she travelled to England, where she studied organ and harpsichord at the Royal Academy of Music, privately with Peter Hurford, and, latterly, with Dame Gillian Weir. Recent recitals have included returns to Oundle and to Yale, a recital on the new 94-stop organ in Magdeburg Cathedral in Germany, and a recital on the largest concert-hall organ in North America at the Kimmel Center, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Forthcoming engagements include recitals in the celebrity summer series at Westminster Abbey.
Passionate about bringing organ music to a wider audience and injecting new ideas into the organ world at large, Ann Elise Smoot has been involved in founding several initiatives, including co-founding of the London Organ Forum, an annual study day combining academic research and live performances, which aims to encourage organists to look at their repertoire in a wider musical context.
Ann Elise Smoot is also one of the most sought-after teachers in the UK, and is in frequent demand for master classes both there and in North America. For 15 years she was director of the St. Giles Junior Organ Conservatoire, a unique and highly successful program for teenage organists, preparing them for university organ scholarships and places in major conservatoires. She has also taught and performed in recent years on the Yale Summer School for Organists, at the Oundle International Festival and associated summer school for young organists, on various Incorporated Association of Organists Study Days, and has been a frequent and popular tutor on several Royal School of Church Music courses. She is also a regular examiner for final degree examinations at UK conservatoires.
Three critically acclaimed CDs have been released on the JAV label, the most recent in June 2012, which features French and German Baroque repertoire on two Silbermann organs in Alsace. Ann Elise Smoot has also contributed several articles as a freelance writer to publications such as Music Teacher Magazine, Classical Music, Organists’ Review, Choir and Organ, and the RCO Journal, and currently holds the post of Education Editor at Organists’ Review.