BBC Cardiff Singer mourns a key selectorRIP
We are very much saddened to report the death of Julian Smith, who for many years selected the singers who would take part in our competition, and acted as Music Adviser. His wisdom, support and friendliness was invaluable to those young singers who travelled from all over the globe to Cardiff. We send our condolences to his family and friends. He’ll be much missed.
From his official Competition CV:
Julian Smith has been associated with BBC Cardiff Singer of the World since its inception in 1983. For the first three competitions he was one of the official accompanists, and in 1988 he became music adviser. Since 1993 he has been responsible for selecting the competitors, and every two years has undertaken a world tour, auditioning singers wishing to take part in the competition. He has auditioned in more than fifty different cities, hearing in excess of five thousand singers.
Julian was head of music at Welsh National Opera for 21 years, during which time he conducted nearly 40 operas for the company, specializing in Puccini, Verdi and the bel canto school, but also including operas by Handel and Britten. He has also conducted for Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne Touring Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Australia, Vancouver Opera, Icelandic Opera, Oper Zuid and New Zealand Opera.
Other orchestras he has conducted include the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Sinfonietta, English Chamber Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
This is very sad news. It is his long time span at WNO and the fine work he did that I remember him so warmly. May he rest in peace.
RIP Julian Smith. Just hope this won’t be seen by BBC Wales as an opportunity to revamp and dumb-down the competition, coverage of which in recent years has already been reduced, and almost ignored in BBC publicity (except, perhaps in Wales).
A very sad loss. Julian guided many of my young artists through the first big productions of their career, and ably conducted my older clients on tour. A very kind and generous man, he will be much missed.
Always kind, friendly and supportive when he was Head of Music at WNO.
A very sad loss to the world of music and opera. A Pucinni speciast Julian’s expertise has created a legacy we can all be thankful for. We shared good times at the WNO.
A very sad loss to the world of music and opera. A Puccini specialist, Julian’s expertise has created a legacy we can all be thankful for. We shared good times at the WNO.