Obituary: Longtime National Arts Centre Orchestra clarinetist Peter Smith, 64

Posted on: February 22, 2010

In Saturday’s (2/20) Ottawa Citizen (Ontario), Steven Mazey writes, “He was on the stage when the National Arts Centre Orchestra presented its first concert in October of 1969, and clarinetist Peter Smith was still going strong as recently as a few weeks ago, still enthusiastic about making beautiful music with his colleagues, still among the first to arrive backstage before a concert. Smith, who grew up in Ottawa and developed a passion for music at Laurentian High School, suffered a stroke about two weeks ago and died Wednesday night at age 64. The NAC lowered its flag to half mast Thusday and dedicated the orchestra’s Thursday concert to his memory. NACO colleagues are mourning the loss and praising his 40-year contribution to the orchestra and to music education. … Away from his work at the NAC, he performed in a saxophone quartet and was a founding member of the Ayorama Woodwind Quintet and the Pierrot Ensemble. Smith also played guitar and banjo and early in his career played in Toronto jazz bands. His versatility allowed him to play bass clarinet in a Mahler symphony one week and jazz saxophone in a pops concert the next.”

Posted February 22, 2010