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Curtis-Smith, C. (Curtis), 1941-2014



  • Existence: September 9, 1941 - October 10, 2014


Curtis Curtis-Smith was born in Walla Walla, Washington in 1941. He first attended Whitman College where he studied with David Burge and then Northwestern University where he would eventually earn his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. At Northwestern, Curtis-Smith studied with Guy Mombaerts. He also studied with Kenneth Gaburo and Bruno Maderna. Curtis-Smith worked as a Professor of Music at Western Michigan University until 2011. His talents have been recognized by numerous awards including a Guggenheim, a National Endowment for the Arts, the Medaglia d’Oro from the Concorso Internazionale di Musica e danza G.B. Viotti, and the Prix du Salabert. According to the Western Michigan University website, Curtis-Smith, “‘invented’ the technique of bowing the piano”. This technique has been picked up by numerous modern composers. Curtis-Smith composed for choir, solo instruments, chamber ensembles, vocal music, and orchestra.

Sources: • Cope, David. “Curtis-Smith, Curtis O(tto) B(ismarck).” In Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press, 2001. • WMU News. “Schools of Music to present a memorial tribute to C. Curtis-Smith.” Western Michigan University. February 16, 2015.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

American Composers Collection

Identifier: MS-0078
Scope and Contents

The American Composers Collection includes material related to over 150 composers, including manuscript music scores, programs, correspondence, news clippings, and other items. Material varies with composer, from a single item to several folders. The collection was amassed from various donations to the University of Missouri-Kansas City before being given to the Dr. Kenneth J. LaBudde Department of Special Collections. Provenance is noted when known.

Dates: 1813 - 2006