from a review of "African Sunrise..." the CD of music by Dave Heath, with Evelyn Glennie and John Harle:

After several hearings, aided by its well judged highlighting as a separate introductory track, Philip Smith's defiantly resonant solo in Darkness to Light (1997) lingered longest in the memory. Are the notes his, however, or the composer's, or perhaps the property of both?
-- Nicholas Williams, BBC Music Magazine

Philip Smith, Pianist, with Bernhard Röthlisberger, Clarinettist

"Two professionals making music in top form..."

The Sonata Op. 120 no. 1 by Brahms was interpreted intensely, with inner engagement and beautiful sound. The decrescendi were wonderful from the full-sounding forte to the ebbing pianissimo by the clarinet player, grasping the energetic hand and the swiftness and ease of the passages played by the pianist. Philip Smith played afterwards, totally immersed in his playing, the melancholic Intermezzos op 117 no. 1 and 2. Brahms himself called them the "Lullaby of my pains".

Exemplary Teamwork

After these intimate, pianistically wonderfully diversely performed jewels, the virtuosos had their say with the Rondo op 72 for clarinet and piano by Widor in which the virtuosi excelled. The wide ranging Introduction was playful, with immaculate ensemble; the Rondo brisk and full of nuance and fireworks. More fireworks were revealed in the Sonatina by Horovitz, interpreted "con bravura". Storms of applause rewarded the duo, who had played together as one. With a highly charged encore from the pen of Jeffrey Agrell, which again demanded reckless virtuousity, these most highly talented musicians said good-bye.
-- Recital in Olten with Bernhard Röthlisberger
"Neue Mittelland Zeitung", Switzerland

An Evening of Contrasts

The British pianist Philip Smith introduced himself as an electrifying and humorous sound poet. The sympathies of the audience were already his through his laconic British-humouristic introductions to his pieces.

In Scarlatti's four sonatas, one could admire his consciously shaped polyphony, the easily thrown trills and, in the last piece, his stupendous dexterity. Smith approached Beethoven's last piano sonata in C minor, Opus 111 , with temperament. He forced the tempo to its limit, but he also maintained the rough elements of the piece, and the thread that runs through it was always evident. The transcendental resolution of the second movement emitted great repose. Smith created maximum contrast, one remembers the energetic third variation, with its Boogie-Woogie drive.

Totally in his element

After the interval a highly virtuousic sound magic was predominant. Rachmaninov's Corelli Variations were certainly no easy task. Smith showed great sovereignty, but was totally in his element. A novelty for the audience was Samuel Barber's only piano sonata, a work of late romanticism, in the succession of Rachmaninov. Smith proved again his stupendous creative and pianistic abilities... for instance, in the featherlight shining third movement or in the concluding Fuga with bombastic double octaves.
-- Review of solo recital in Hochdorf, Switzerland

...energetic and brilliant...

...during the course of the evening, he played himself out of the shadow of his famous duo-partner. And, by the time they were playing the encores, Smith proved himself to be not only a superior keyboard virtuoso, but also an energetic and brilliant improvisation talent.
-- Recital with Evelyn Glennie
Lucerne International Music Festival

...mesmerising intensity...

For Drum Dances, pianist Smith played like two Art Tatums at the same time, with Glennie sitting like a Buddy Rich until both played the most titillating tintinnabulations on piano and finger xylophone.
-- South China Morning Post, Hong Kong

What the papers say...

"...poetry as well as virtuosity... what makes his playing so complete is the combination of an innate musical simplicity with a highly developed technique... "

" ...the Rachmaninoff displayed Smith's total command of the piano. Possessed with exceptional hands, he elicited exquisitely legato phrasing and melodic lines that sang ... his finger dexterity was unbelievable..."

"...extraordinary technical ease and elegance...tenderness, genius and poetry..."

"...great feeling for emotional nuance..."

"...displayed not only consummate virtuosity but also musicality of the highest level..."

"...Glennie’s artistry on the wide range of percussion instruments was sparkling as was the piano work by Philip Smith who has been the regular pianist for Dame Evelyn for two decades..."