"For sheer colour and finesse in every facet of organ playing, Driskill-Smith will be hard to beat, his mastery of the mechanics of the instrument the best of all of the competitors (in the Calgary International Organ Competition). Elegant and suave in everything he played..." (Calgary Herald)
Hailed as a “star of a new generation” (Evening Standard, London), critics have praised Clive Driskill-Smith for his “blazing technique” and “unbelievable virtuosity” (American Guild of Organists) and described his performances as “intensely moving” and “truly breathtaking” (Organo Pleno, Melbourne).
Born in 1978, Clive was awarded the Sheila Mossman Memorial Prize by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music before winning a Music Scholarship to Eton College in 1990. From 1992 to 1994, he played the bassoon in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and in the National Youth Chamber Orchestra. After a year as Organ Scholar at Winchester Cathedral and Assistant Organist at Winchester College, he went to Christ Church, Oxford University as the Christopher Tatton Organ Scholar. While at Christ Church, he was awarded the ARCM (Associate of the Royal College of Music) diploma in Piano Performance and the FRCO (Fellow of the Royal College of Organists) diploma with the Limpus, Shinn, and Durrant Prizes, and the Worshipful Company of Musicians' Silver Medal. He graduated in 1999 with first class honors in music and with the MPhil degree in 2001. A pupil of David Sanger and Hans Fagius, he was awarded a Travelling Scholarship by the Royal College of Organists in 1999 and the W. T. Best Scholarship by the Worshipful Company of Musicians in 2002. Both of these funded further study throughout Europe with Marie-Claire Alain, Guy Bovet, Andrea Marcon, Luigi Tagliavini, and Harald Vogel.
Winner of the Royal College of Organists' Performer of the Year Competition in 2000 and the Calgary International Organ Competition in 2002, Clive regularly performs throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. In Great Britain, he has played at the BBC Proms, the Royal Festival Hall London, Symphony Hall Birmingham, and Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. He has had numerous tours in the U.S. including performances at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists. His CDs have received critical acclaim (“his playing is immaculate … the technique is brilliant, the interpretation faultless … a first class recording,” The Organ, England) and his performances have been broadcast on radio and television worldwide.
Driskill-Smith also performs with GRAMMY® Award winning percussionist Joseph Gramley (Professor of Percussion at the University of Michigan and member of cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble) in a duo called Organized Rhythm. Organized Rhythm’s performances explore the lyrical and powerful tonal aspects of thunderous and dulcet wood and metal organ pipes married to the visceral, arresting, and delicate aspects of a wide array of percussion instruments from around the world through a collection of new works as well as transcriptions of recognizable classical compositions. Their repertoire spans from the music of J. S. Bach and Camille Saint-Saëns to that of Aaron Copland and celebrated and innovative 21st century composers Nico Muhly and William Susman, with the duo’s adaptation of Gustav Holst’s The Planets being their signature performance piece.
From 2001–2018, Clive Driskill-Smith was Organist at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, where he accompanied the choir under the direction of Dr. Stephen Darlington, and Professor of Organ at the Royal Academy of Music, London. He is a member of the American Guild of Organists, a Freeman of the City of London, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, and has served as a Trustee of the Royal College of Organists and the Eric Thompson Charitable Trust for Organists and Organ Music. In September 2018, he began his tenure as Organist and Choirmaster of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, Texas.
Clive Driskill-Smith is represented in North America exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC.