William Overton Smith was an American clarinetist and composer. He worked extensively in modern classical music, Third Stream and jazz, was best known for having played with pianist Dave Brubeck intermittently from the 1940s to the early 2000s. Smith recorded jazz under the name Bill Smith, but his classical compositions are credited under the name William O. Smith. Smith was born in Sacramento and grew up in Oakland, where he began playing clarinet at the age of ten, he put together a jazz group to play for dances at 13, at the age of 15 he joined the Oakland Symphony. He idolized Benny Goodman, but after high school, a brief cross-country tour with a dance band ended his romance for the life of a traveling jazz musician, he gave two weeks' notice when the band reached Washington, D. C. Encouraged by an older band member to get the best education he could, Smith headed to New York, he began his formal music studies at the Juilliard School of Music, playing in New York jazz clubs like Kelly's Stables at night.
Uninspired by the Juilliard faculty, he returned to California upon hearing and admiring the music of Darius Milhaud, teaching at Mills College in Oakland. At Mills, Smith met pianist Dave Brubeck, with whom he played until Brubeck's 2012 death. Smith was a member of the Dave Brubeck Octet, occasionally subbed for saxophonist Paul Desmond in the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Brubeck's 1960 album Brubeck à la mode featured Smith performing ten of his own compositions with Brubeck's quartet. Smith rejoined Brubeck's group in the 1990s, he studied composition with Roger Sessions at the University of California, where he was graduated with a bachelor's and a master's degree. Winning the Prix de Paris presented Smith the opportunity for two years of study at the Paris Conservatory, in 1957, he was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome and spent six years in that city, he has since received numerous other awards, including two Guggenheim grants. After a teaching stint at the University of Southern California, Smith began a thirty-year career at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he taught music composition and performance, co-leading the forward-thinking Contemporary Group, first with Robert Suderburg, with trombonist Stuart Dempster, from 1966 to 1997.
He died at age 93 in his home from complications of prostate cancer on February 29, 2020. In 1947, Smith composed Schizophrenic Scherzo for the Brubeck Octet, one of the earliest works that integrated jazz and classical techniques, a style, given the name "third stream" by Gunther Schuller. Smith investigated and cataloged a wide range of extended techniques on the clarinet, including the use of two clarinets by a single performer, inspired by images of the ancient aulos encountered during a trip to Greece, numerous multiphonics, playing the instrument with a cork in the bell, the "clar-flute," a technique that involves removing the instrument's mouthpiece and playing it as an end-blown flute; as William O. Smith, he wrote several pioneering pieces that feature many of these techniques, including Duo for Flute and Clarinet and Variants for Solo Clarinet. In an article titled "Contemporary Clarinet Sonorities", Smith compiled the first comprehensive catalogue of fingerings for clarinet multiphonics.
He was among the early composers interested in electronic music, as a performer he continued to experiment with amplified clarinet and electronic delays. He remained active nationally, on the local Seattle music scene until well into his 90s. In 2008, he composed and premiered a "jazzopera" titled Space in the Heart. Eric Salzman wrote: "William Smith's clarinet pieces, played by himself, must be heard to believe—double triple stops. Impossible except that it happened". Prix de Paris Phelan Award 1958 Rome Prize 1960 Guggenheim Fellowship A Fromm Players Fellowship National Academy of Arts and Letters Award BMI Jazz Pioneer Award International Clarinet Association Honorary Membership Concerto for Clarinet and Combo Schizophrenic Scherzo, for clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone and trombone Concerto for trombone and chamber orchestra Five Pieces for Solo Clarinet Duo, for clarinet and tape Five Pieces, for flute and clarinet Concerto for Jazz Soloist and Orchestra Variants, for solo clarinet Mosaic, for clarinet and piano Random Suite, for clarinet and tape Quadri, for jazz ensemble and orchestra Chronos, for string quartet Five, for brass quintet Five Fragments, for double clarinet Intermission, for soprano, SATB choir, various instruments Musing, for 3 clarinets and optional dancers Illuminated Manuscript, for wind quintet and computer graphics Jazz Set, for violin and wind quintet Epitaphs, for double clarinet Ritual, for double clarinet and projections Soli, for flute, clarinet and cello Five Pages, for 2 clarinets and computer Duet in Two Tempo
Ivan Cuthbert Stedman was an Australian freestyle and breaststroke swimmer of the 1920s, who won a silver medal in the 4×200-metre freestyle relay at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. He was born in a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria. After being injured in the Battle of the Somme during the First World War, Stedman was selected to carry the flag for Australasia at the Opening Ceremony of the 1920 Summer Olympics. In the 100-metre freestyle, Stedman was eliminated in the semifinals, but made the final of the 200-metre breaststroke, where he came last of the five finalists. In an all-Australian team, Stedman combined with Henry Hay, William Herald and Frank Beaurepaire to claim silver in the 4×200-metre freestyle relay; the American team, led by Duke Kahanamoku, won by an large margin of 21 seconds. Stedman competed at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, with less success, where he was eliminated in the semifinal of the 100-metre freestyle and the heats of 200-metre breaststroke. Stedman was a regular competitor in the Race to Prince's Bridge, the annual three-mile Yarra River swim.
In 1952, he won the race at age 52 with a time of 24 minutes, 53 seconds. List of Olympic medalists in Malcolm. Australia at the Olympic Games. Sydney, New South Wales: ABC Books. P. 404. ISBN 0-7333-0884-8. ADB biography