Gramophone Magazine hailed Kile Smith’s Vespers written for Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, and the new-music choir The Crossing as “spectacular.” The Philadelphia Inquirer found it “breathtaking” and “ecstatically beautiful,” The Buffalo News called it “altogether gorgeous and haunting,” and the Philadelphia City Paper raved that it is “almost preternaturally beautiful.” The Inquirer put the premiere in its “2008 Top Ten” list and the Broad Street Review called it “one of the major events of the music season.” Audiophile Audition said, “this work is a masterpiece of the deepest kind … Seldom do I come across a piece with such profoundly direct emotional appeal – easily one of the best releases of the year.”
Kile’s frequently performed music is praised by audiences and critics for its emotional power, direct appeal, and strong voice. He is Curator of the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music in the Free Library of Philadelphia, co-host of Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, and host of the contemporary American music show Now is the Time on WRTI 90.1 FM in Philadelphia.
Other recent works include Exsultet for horn and string orchestra, written for Jennifer Montone, Principal Horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra, American Spirituals, Book One for violin and piano, written for and recorded by David Kim, Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, American Spirituals, Book Two for Anne Martindale Williams, Principal Cello of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the string quartet The Best of All Possible Worlds, and The Bremen Town Musicians for narrator, violin, and cello. Where ?ames a word, written for The Crossing on the poetry of Paul Celan, was selected for performance at the 2009 Annual Conference of Chorus America.
Vespers was commissioned by Piffaro and released in 2009 on the Navona label. Kile has recently completed Two Laudate Psalms, a Lyric Fest commission for mezzo-soprano Suzanne DuPlantis and the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, for fall 2009 performances. The 2009-10 season will also see a performance of Exsultet, the world premiere of Now ys the tyme of Crystymas by the Virginia Chorale, and a commission for the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival.