Kenneth Smith studied in Cardiff at the Welsh College of Music and Drama and took masterclasses and private lessons with Paul Taffanel’s pupil Marcel Moyse, as well as with Aurèle Nicolet and James Galway. In 1983, after ten years with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, he took up the post of principal flute of the Philharmonia Orchestra, London. During his twenty-seven years with the orchestra he has made over five hundred recordings: these include Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto (with Bryn Lewis, conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli) and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 2 (with trumpeter Maurice André, conducted by Riccardo Muti), as well as operas, film scores, and a wide range of orchestral repertoire (such as Ravel’s Daphnis under Sinopoli and Stravinsky’s Petrushka under Esa-Pekka Salonen).
The long-established partnership between Kenneth Smith and the pianist Paul Rhodes has produced twelve CDs of music for flute and piano, which demonstrate his curiosity towards – and persuasive advocacy of – rare and neglected works for the instrument. They include a five-album project devoted to British composers on ASV, and the three-disc set A Song without Words: the Legacy of Paul Taffanel, released on the Divine Art label to wide critical acclaim in 2010.