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Hale Smith


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Hale Smith (June 29, 1925 – November 24, 2009) was an American composer, pianist, educator, arranger, and editor.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Smith studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, graduating with a B.M. degree in 1950, and obtaining an M.M. in 1952. There, his instructors included Marcel Dick (composition), Ward Lewis (theory), Dorothy Price (piano), and Robert U. Nelson (calligraphy). In 1953 Smith's opera Blood Wedding premiered in Cleveland.

He moved to New York in 1958 and taught at C. W. Post College on Long Island, New York until 1970. He later taught at the University of Connecticut from 1970 until 1984, when he earned emeritus status.

His awards include the first composition prize of BMI Student Composer Awards sponsored by Broadcast Music, Inc. (1952), the Cleveland Arts Prize (1973), and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1988).

He received an honorary doctorate from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1988.

Smith died on November 24, 2009, from the complications of a stroke, in Freeport, Long Island, New York, at the age of 84.

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