Momentum Album

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Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and Boulanger

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Miriam K Smith cellist Momentum album bio photo

Miriam K Smith cellist Momentum album bio picture

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Cellist Miriam K. Smith Releases Second Commercial Album, Momentum
Recorded When She Was Only 15 Years Old,
Momentum Features Works by Prokofiev,
Stravinsky, and Boulanger, Performed with

Steinway Artist Sandra Wright Shen
Released October 21, 2022 on Azica Records

Watch Smith Perform Prokofiev in The Strad:
https://bit.ly/StradSmithProkofiev

“Smith, I’m happy to report, distinguishes herself, she meets the considerable challenges of material with assurance and aplomb, so much so that any obsessing over age rapidly falls to the wayside.”-Textura

“The 16 year old Smith’s astonishing cello ensure that her second album is as emotionally intricate as it is musically dramatic.”-Goldmine Magazine, Dave Thompson

“Exceptionally mature grasp of the music [and] the strength of her extraordinarily beautiful, vibrant tone” – Atlanta Audio Club

“This is good for your soul, I would say. Nicely performed and nice, very nice to have to hear repeatedly. Very recommended.” – Classical-Modern Music, Grego Applegate Edwards

 

Miriam performs on The StradNew York, NY (August 25, 2022) – On Friday, October 21, 2022, American cello prodigy Miriam K. Smith, praised for her “polished, accurate playing” (American Record Guide), releases her second commercial album, Momentum, on Azica Records. In collaboration with pianist and Steinway artist Sandra Wright Shen, the album features Prokofiev’s Cello Sonata in C Major, Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, and Boulanger’s Trois Pièces pour violoncelle et piano. Smith performs on an Italian cello by an unknown maker from the 18th century.

Smith says, “When a wave begins, it gathers momentum, so with this collection of music I see a gathering of energy into our modern era. I perceive this momentum in each of these composers’ works propelling the arts forward in their time… And so, we continue today in the wave of momentum which began long ago.”
The album opens with Prokofiev’s Cello Sonata, written in 1949, only a few years after WWII. Smith shares, “The sonata showcases the emotions that were felt after the war and the suspense of the years that will follow. Just a year before Prokofiev wrote this sonata, much of his music was banned by the Soviet government, but
despite these troubling circumstances, he managed to compose a beautiful sonata filled with joyous and cheerful melodies.”

Of Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, Smith explains, “From my years of ballet training, I often approach a piece of
music with dance in mind. Because Suite Italienne is a cello and piano version of the ballet Pulcinella, created
by Stravinsky and cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, it felt very natural… To me, each movement brings a different
character with a different mood, and the finale brings all the characters together for a hymn-like opening and
one last vivacious dance.”

Originally composed for organ, Nadia Boulanger’s Trois Pièces shares part of the brilliant composer’s small but
substantial oeuvre. Smith explains, “It is bittersweet for me because Ms. Boulanger’s compositional body of
work is too small. Instead, she gave her life’s work to teaching and thus her impact is much greater as she
influenced so many composers and musicians… As I was considering the composers for this album, I found an
interesting connection between them all. They all spent time in Paris. Boulanger was a Parisienne, but she was
also a great supporter of Stravinsky. Prokofiev and Stravinsky both spent time outside Russia to escape the
persecution of the regime. Prokofiev did return to his native land but it was a trying time for him under the
Soviet government while Stravinsky remained in the United States following his time in France until his death.”

Miriam K Smith and Sandra Wright Shen

About Miriam K. Smith
Cellist Miriam K. Smith (b. 2006) is rapidly gaining recognition as an immensely talented and charismatic
soloist, appearing with orchestras across the United States. Since making her concerto debut at age of 8 with
Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1, Smith has performed as soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony
Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra,
Hendersonville Symphony, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, among
others.
While on tour, Miriam performs private and public community outreach concerts, as well as television and radio
interviews, and has an episode featured on PBS’s Emmy-winning Showcase with Barbara Kellar. Also an
active chamber musician, she regularly performs in recital and chamber concerts throughout the country. Smith
was featured via interview for the Cello Museum in June 2021 and won First Place in both the American
Protégé International competition and American Fine Arts Festival competition, leading to three performances
at Carnegie Hall.
Her first commercial release – Flair, recordings of works by Barber, Falla, Piazzolla, and Tchaikovsky, on MSR
Classics – is available on digital streaming platforms. Miriam K. Smith is based in Cincinnati, Ohio and studies
with Alan Rafferty of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She performs these works on an Italian cello of an
unknown maker from the 18th century, graciously loaned by an anonymous donor.

Momentum Track List
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (1891-1953) – Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 119
1. I. Andante grave [11:59]
2. II. Moderato [5:07]
3 .III. Allegro ma non troppo [8:23]

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (1882-1971) – Suite Italienne
4. I. Introduzione [2:25]
5. II. Serenata [3:16]
6. III. Aria [5:21]
7. IV. Tarantella [2:20]
8. V. Minuetto e Finale [4:48]

Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) – Trois Pièces pour violoncelle et piano
9. I. Modéré [3:10]
10. II. Sans vitesse et à l’aise [1:49]
11. III. Vite et nerveusement rythmé [2:46]
Total Time: 51:24

Producer and Recording Engineer – Alan Bise
Executive Production – The Sound Press, LLC
Photography – Will Crooks
Videography – Caleb Chamberlain
Recorded at Goshen College, Sauder Hall
Azica Records ACD-71354

"I perceive this momentum in each of these composers’ works propelling the arts
forward in their time."

MKS