Christopher Wayne Smith graduated in 2014 in Piano Performance with First Class Honours from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where he won several awards, scholarships and competition prizes. He has studied with Richard McMahon, Michael Young, Leslie Howard, Murray McLachlan and Artur Pizarro; and he has prepared masterclasses with Stephen Hough, Noriko Ogawa and Freddy Kempf.
Recent performances include a Purcell Room concert for two pianos, eight hands with pianists Leslie Howard, Coady Green and Nadia Lasserson, a concert for two pianos and percussion at the RWCMD (with William Shaw), solo performances at Chetham’s, a recital for the Alkan Society at Steinway Hall and a solo recital at the Mwldan Theatre for the Peter Gould Trust in Wales. He has also performed for the joint Forge Recitals organised by the Wagner, Alkan, Berlioz and Liszt Societies, and at the Bulawayo and Harare International Festivals.
His most recent concerto engagement was Liszt’s Totentanz in Cardiff. Solo engagements this year have included performances at the Finnish Ambassador’s Residence in London and the Pure Gold Festival at Goldsmiths College – both celebrating Skryabin’s centenary. He also took these programmes on tour to India in 2015.
Unusually, Christopher trained as a tuner and technician. Whilst studying at the RWCMD, he was also employed by the College to maintain its 69 pianos. His services have also been used by the Liszt Society, Brighton Festival, Goldsmiths College, private clients – and the festivals in Zimbabwe and India.
Christopher also works as a freelance orchestral pianist, repetiteur and vocal coach, conductor, and as a private piano teacher to diploma and professional level (he is a Deputy at Goldsmiths College). He also assists the Musical Director of the AGMC choir in Brighton, regularly taking rehearsals, conducting, arranging vocal works, and assisting in organising large-scale events.
Christopher is Director of the Liszt Society, joint Artistic Director of the annual Liszt Society’s International Liszt Piano Prize and a jury member.
Review of the concert on 6th April 2016:
MUSICAL OPINION QUARTERLY (July-September 2016)
Christopher Wayne Smith / The Keyboard Charitable Trust / Steinway Hall, London / 6 April 2016
The Keyboard Charitable Trust’s series of recitals, given in association with Steinway & Sons at London’s Steinway Hall, continued on April 6 with a distinguished recital by the exceptionally gifted young pianist Christopher Wayne Smith, who chose two but very different, and very demanding, Sonatas – Schubert’s A minor D784, and Rachmaninoff’s First Sonata in D minor.
Mr Wayne Smith, it has to be said, possesses an impressively comprehensive technique, yet over and above this major gift has to be added the less frequently encountered, but more significant, gift of musical understanding at a deep level.
His account of the Schubert Sonata, all repeats fully observed, was of a very high standard indeed, his recreative musicianship revealing a musical intelligence of rare qualities; the central Andante especially being quite remarkably successful.
In Rachmaninoff’s large-scaled D minor Sonata, Wayne Smith was once more fully up to the very different musical and technical demands of this mighty work. Here was a performance that was deeply impressive throughout, with the ff and fff differentiations in the closing pages of the work being splendidly delineated. The range of emotion in this masterwork is wide, but Christopher Wayne Smith was fully in control of each aspect of a work which, it must be said, brings to an end the great series of high-Romantic piano sonatas, and does so in a manner that remains wholly unique to the composer. This recital was a considerable achievement on the part of this young pianist, of whom much can be expected.