Trefor Smith was born and grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland, of half-Scots, half-Welsh heritage. He received his first piano lessons at the age of 6 and later started to compose, wishing to become a composer. From 1966-71 he studied music and composition at Aberdeen and Liverpool Universities where his leaning towards piano rather than composition became apparent.
At the same time he pursued piano studies with Prof. George Hadjinikos in Manchester. He continued these studies until 1973 in his class at the Royal Manchester College of Music where he received his Performer’s diploma. In the same year he moved to Hamburg in Germany to continue piano studies under Prof. Eliza Hansen at the Musikhochschule in Hamburg and concluded his time there with the prestigious Konzertexamen.
In 1979 he was invited to the demanding Beethoven course given by Wilhelm Kempff in Positano/Italien. He also studied for a time with Paul Badura-Skoda in Essen, Hans Leygraf in Salzburg and with Vlado Perlemuter in Paris.
Trefor Smith has appeared in almost all Western European countries, as well as in Poland, Russia, India, Turkey, and for several years has performed regularly in many parts of the USA. He has made numerous recordings for radio as well as CDs. He is Prof. of Piano at the Musikhochschule in Hamburg, and some years ago became a German citizen.
Wilhelm Kempff in 1982:
“Trefor Smith was a participant at my Beethoven course in Positano in 1979. Since then I have had several opportunities of hearing him again.
Trefor Smith is not one of those pianists one hears so often nowadays whose playing is of a purely motoric nature. His is marked by a sense for nuances and poetry although it is certainly not lacking in strength and clarity. His musicality is genuine and strengthened by great knowledge of the subject.”
Vlado Perlemuter in 1983:
“I have had the opportunity of hearing and working with Trefor Smith many times. This intelligent young pianist is a very sensitive musician who deserves the attention of music-lovers and of those in a position to support him in his young career. I can only wish him the greatest of success.”