Popular British organist, Jane Parker Smith has passed away. Jane Parker Smith died on Wenesday June 24 2020 at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. The celebrated organist died at the age of 70. Jennifer’s cause of death was not disclosed to the public.
Jane Parker Smith made her debut as a 20-year-old at Westminster Cathedral and played at the 22nd at the BBC Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.
She has made the CD series “Romantic and Virtuoso Works for Organ” and “Popular French Romantics”. She also made albums with music by Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély, Widor, Liszt and Saint-Saëns, among others
Tributes Floods Twitter..
We were extremely sad to hear yesterday of the sudden death of concert organist Jane Parker-Smith. She was a wonderful performer and will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/0EydWXFGz0
— Society of Women Organists (SWO) (@SWomenOrganists) June 27, 2020
I’m saddened to hear of the death of Jane Parker-Smith. What a fabulous, inspiring and iconic artist. pic.twitter.com/0merMMi6aQ
— Joshua Stephens (@JoshuaThomOrg) June 27, 2020
@john_jmbrad11 So sad to hear about Jane Parker Smith, her recording (below) of Widor’s 5th and 7th Symphonies were major turning points in me in my teen years wanting to pursue the organ. https://t.co/k9PzpA6Ign
— The Symphonist (@tim_selman) June 26, 2020
Captain Alice hasn’t been on Social Media because sadly her lovely stepmum died on Wednesday. Jane was amazing – she travelled the world inspiring everyone with her music! Jane Parker-Smith. 20 May 1950 – 24 June 2020 💓 🎵 pic.twitter.com/QXXedJxq2D
— Captain Alice (@MiniMapMakers) June 26, 2020
I am sorry to hear of Jane Parker Smith’s passing. The ‘Martha Argerich of the organ’ was undoubtedly one of the finest organists of her generation, she had a prodigious technique and was always so exciting to listen to.
— Simon Probert (@simonprobert) June 26, 2020
So sorry to hear that the great Jane Parker-Smith has died. Had a drink, or two (!) with her in early March but the photographs do neither of us justice! So listen to this. I love it. Ex @RCMLondon student playing music by our former Director. https://t.co/IofSNQpOOK
— David Graham (@DGrahamOrganist) June 26, 2020
Things You Need To Know About Jane Parker Smith
Described as “the Martha Argerich of the organ” (The Sunday Times), Jane Parker-Smith is internationally recognized by the critics and public alike for her musicianship, virtuosity, entertaining programs, and electrifying performances. An innate interpretative ability, prodigious technique, and flair for tonal color are the hallmarks that make Jane Parker-Smith one of the most sought-after organists in the world.
Her studies at the Royal College of Music in London were crowned with a number of prizes and scholarships, including the Walford Davies Prize for organ performance. After a further period of work with the eminent concert organist Nicolas Kynaston, a French government scholarship enabled her to complete her studies in Paris with the legendary organist Jean Langlais, perfecting the knowledge and understanding of twentieth-century French organ music for which she is today internationally renowned.
She made her London debut at Westminster Cathedral at the age of 20, and two years later made her first solo appearance at the BBC Promenade Concerts in the Royal Albert Hall. She has since performed in concert halls, cathedrals, and churches throughout the world.
She has recorded a wide range of solo repertoire for the RCA, Classics for Pleasure, L’Oiseau Lyre, EMI, ASV, Collins Classics, Motette, and Avie labels. In addition, she has collaborated with the renowned Maurice André in a duo recording of music for trumpet and organ. She has performed numerous times on radio and television with special feature programs on the BBC, German, and Swiss television.
Highlights in her concert career have been performances in major venues and international festivals such as Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall (both solo and concerto performances), Three Choirs Festival, City of London Festival, Bath Festival, and Blenheim Palace (Winston Churchill Memorial Concert) in the U.K.; Jyväskylä Festival, Finland; Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden; Hong Kong Arts Festival; Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Canada; Festival Paris Quartier d’Été, France; Festival Ciclo El Organo en la Iglesia, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Festival Internationale di Musica Organistica Magadino, Switzerland; Cube Concert Hall, Shiroishi, Japan; Athens Organ Festival, Greece; Severance Hall in Cleveland, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, USA; Sejong Cultural Centre, Seoul, Korea; Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore; Symphony Hall, Birmingham, U.K.; Mariinsky Concert Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia. and ZK Matthews Hall, University of South Africa, Pretoria.
In 1996, she gave four solo concerts at the American Guild of Organists National Centennial Convention in New York City. She was also a featured artist for the AGO National Convention in Philadelphia in 2002, for the AGO Region II Convention in New York City, and the AGO Region V Convention in Columbus, Ohio in 2007, for the AGO National Convention in Nashville in 2012, and, most recently, for the AGO Regional Convention in Fort Worth, Texas in 2015.
Jane Parker-Smith’s extensive concerto repertoire has led to her performances with many leading orchestras, including the BBC Symphony and the BBC Concert Orchestras, the London Symphony, the London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, the Philharmonia, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Athens State Orchestra, and the Prague Chamber Orchestra. She has worked with conductors of the stature of Sir Simon Rattle, Serge Baudo, Carl Davis, Vernon Handley, Matthias Bamert, and Richard Hickox.
Parker-Smith is an Honorary Fellow of the Guild of Musicians and Singers and a member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians. She is listed in the World Who’s Who and the International Who’s Who in Music and in 2014 was chosen as one of the “1000 Most Influential Londoners” by the London Evening Standard newspaper.