Cyril Smith

Cyril Smith : Cyril Smith & Phyllis Sellick play Schubert Fantasie in F minor D.940 (3 hands)

Piano Duet (3 hands)

Recorded in 1974, a month before Smith's death.

Cyril James Smith (11 August 1909 -- 2 August 1974) was born at Costa Street, Middlesbrough, England, the son of Charles Smith, a foundry bricklayer, and Eva Harrison, and had an older brother and sister. Cyril married Andrée Antoinette Marie Paty in 1931 but the marriage ended in divorce. In 1937 he married Phyllis Sellick. Cyril and Phyllis's recreational activities included long walks and sailing. They had a son and a daughter and remained married until his death. He died in 1974 at his home in East Sheen, London, the result of a stroke.

Cyril's work was largely from the Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Schubert, Balakirev, and Albéniz repertoire. Malcolm Arnold, Sir Arthur Bliss, Gordon Jacob and Ralph Vaughan Williams also wrote music for the duo.

In 1956 while at Kharkov at the start of a concert tour of Russia (then the Soviet Union) he suffered a thrombosis and stroke which paralysed his left arm, however with music arranged by themselves, or written or arranged by composer friends Cyril and Phyllis were able to continue to perform three-handed music concerts as a piano duo. Notable among the works composed for them was Malcolm Arnold's Concerto for Two Pianos (3 hands), opus 104 dedicated to Cyril Smith and Phyllis Sellick who premiered it at the Proms in 1969 and recorded it in 1970.