- Catherine Parsons Smith
(b Elkins, WV, Dec 2, 1937). American composer and flautist. She attended the Eastman School (BM 1959), Bryn Mawr, Yale Summer Session and the Manhattan School of Music (MM 1974). She taught at the Manhattan School and at Juilliard Preparatory, and has performed widely as a flautist. From 1978 to 1981 she organized the Women's Interart Center music festivals in New York. She has received many commissions, residencies and awards, including an Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Composition in 1994.
Although her output includes works for solo voice and chorus, her major works are instrumental. Extra-musical references include Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror (in Medieval Suite) and Amerindian myths (in Kokopeli and Stitch-te Naku). Da pacem takes its name from the 16th-century cantus firmus on which it is based. Her musical rhetoric is clear and eloquent; moments of startling beauty emerge from her sometimes acerbic harmonies. The commissioning, rehearsal and première of her ...