Philip Smith has been principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic for several decades. He joined the orchestra in 1978 and stayed for 36 years. He was universally admired for the quality of his playing. His reputation was so great that many people came to believe that he never missed a note. The fact is that he very rarely cracked a note but more than that he played with phenomenal technical control and tonal variety.
Philip Smith is retiring from the Philharmonic at the end of this season and his chair will be hard to fill. It will be nearly impossible to replace his personality. He was known as a great musician, a fine and inspiring teacher, and his sense of humor was second to none. In this recent video we get a glimpse of the comedian at work.
Phil’s next stop is at the University of Georgia where he will become Professor of Trumpet.
Paul E. Robinson