“Working with composers is one of the most vital and stimulating experiences a musician can have. The chance to be part of the process, to get inside the composer’s mind and to collaborate on some aspects of how the work is written is an amazing insight into the creation of a musical work. Richard Smoot’s music is exciting, accessible and sophisticated ~ all the qualities that make the learning and performing of music such a rich endeavor.”  Charles Wetherbee, violinist and co-founder of Carpe Diem String Quartet

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“Richard Jordan Smoot’s orchestral music is very strong: there is an intensity and muscularity about it… barely a moment goes by where there is not something at stake. Take for example, the Overture to Faust, J.D.: nervous rhythms with a hint of jazz/rock about them urge the piece forward, while the snatches of solo violin (representing Mephistopheles) are menacing in their attack. A terrific piece!” — Phillip Scott, Fanfare Magazine review of compact disc entitled Hauntings: Orchestral and Chamber Music by Richard Jordan Smoot

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“Smoot is at the forefront of composition in the United States.” — Acoma Company, Toronto, Canada

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Smoot is another fine example of a very prevalent trend in contemporary American music: composers of basically tonal, more-or less conventional music of genuine quality which succeeds on its own terms ….. frequently involving research into the latest musical techniques. This ensures the availability of the widest possible range of compositional methods, but as here the actual music largely falls under the neo-romantic umbrella, directly emotionally expressive and often quasi-programmatic. The three big orchestral works are powerful and evocative (Hauntings, a 9/11 piece, is especially vivid and expressive), all sharing a vigorous and colorful, full-blooded quality which is highly satisfying. September, 2005 Press release by Records International.

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“The music of Richard Smoot is expressive, well-crafted and thought-provoking; it is enjoyable for the performers as well as the listeners. The orchestral pieces which I have conducted were well-received by all concerned.” — Timothy Russell, Music Director [Emeritus], Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, Columbus, Ohio

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“Richard Smoot has developed a strong personal voice as a composer…the results are always imaginative.” — Elliott Schwartz, composer, Bowdoin College

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Re Smoot’s Dreams of time for chamber orchestra, and electronic sounds

“…the play of sonorities is…the most captivating aspect of Dreams of Time…One passage, in which a single pitch is explored in many guises, is a surprisingly simple idea with surprisingly striking results.” — Barbara Zuck, The Columbus Dispatch

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Re Smoot’s Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra

“It’s baroque brevity belies the richness of the music which has a cool oriental palette of Japanese scales and motifs giving the piece a broad vision that is often evocative. As a composer / guitarist, Smoot knows the subtle modulations that suit his instrument and there are hints of Villa-Lobos in some of the thematic treatments. The third movement, with its pounding march-like theme is a fitting conclusion to a compact and lively concerto.”
— Tim Panting, Classical Guitar magazine

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Also re Smoot’s Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra

“Harting-Ware plays with a warmth and vigour that builds on the foundations of some attractive music. Musically, this CD is for those who venture further than their own front door. One cannot help but be affected by it.”
— Tim Panting, Classical Guitar magazine

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Re Smoot’s The Caged Bird of Paradise for orchestra and digital synthesizer

“The Caged Bird of Paradise…is an exquisite piece that will be heard many times in the future by audiences of major orchestras. It is characterized by a very skilled use of orchestral tone colors. Smoot has been a roaring success in his efforts.” — The Lima [OH] News

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Re Smoot’s Sonare for solo guitar

“Sonare is a 110-measure, intermediate level guitar solo. It is full of meter changes and employs modern harmonic language in a very pleasant manner. Sonare falls comfortably under the left hand with no difficult extensions. Alternating Largo and Moderato sections, this is a very relaxing piece to play. Modern yet tame, a lot of players will enjoy this piece.”
— R. Turner, Soundboard

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Re Smoot’s Music for the Waiting Angel for solo guitar

“…fresh material, led by Richard Smoot’s Brouweresque Music for the Waiting Angel….” — Los Angeles Times review of compact disc by classical guitarist, Lynn Harting-Ware

This work displays exquisite, idiomatic writing in an attractive harmonic language. Musically challenging, it presents ample opportunity for expressive tone and virtuoso playing. — Acoma Company Press Release