Composers You Should Know: Julia Smith

Happy 111th birthday to American composer Julia Smith (1905-1989)!  Born in Texas, Smith was a graduate of the University of North Texas College of Music, Juilliard School, and New York University. Smith’s best remembered compositional output was her operas and works for orchestra.  In addition to her work in musicology, including publications on the life and work of Aaron Copland and editing a directory of American women composers, Smith was also an active and accomplished pianist. Smith’s papers are available at the University of North Texas Music Library. Listen below to Smith’s Quartet for Strings:

Julia Smith

Born and raised in Texas, Julia Smith (1905-1989) achieved acclaim as a composer, pianist, and musicologist – but is is perhaps best remembered for composing the music for the University of North Texas alma mater. After graduating from UNT, Smith completed her graduate work at Juilliard and New York University.  She performed as a pianist in Orchestrette Classique, an all-woman chamber orchestra in New York City.  Later, she accepted a position at the Hartt School, where she founded the music education department.  Her scholarship focused on the life of Aaron Copland, but she also edited and published a Directory of…