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55th annual - AMICA CONVENTION
BLACK HILLS - South Dakota
June 3 - 8, 2018

          Encyclopedia of Disc Music Boxes 1881 - 1920
       A History,
          Catalog Raisonné,
                and Appreciation.
                    By Q. David Bowers
       An AMICA-International Publication

Ruth Bingaman Smith

AMICA Members-Only:
See video of this Hall-Of-Fame Member

Ruth Bingaman Smith appeared first in public at the age of four when she sang and danced on a program at the Old Soldier's Home in Dayton, Ohio. Piano instruction started at six years and progressed so rapidly that at the age of ten she first entered concert work, playing Beethoven's C Major Concerto with the San Antonio, Texas Symphony Orchestra. Her success caused her to be heralded as a prodigy.

Concertizing and public appearances continued throughout her school career after which she made her formal debut, again as soloist with the San Antonio Orchestra. Following this tremendous success, Miss Bingaman went to New York to continue her studies under eminent master teachers. Some years later she attended Yale University Music School for a course in Theory, Composition and Music History, as well as Piano Study with Bruce Simonds, Dean of the School.

Following a New York recital, she had engagements with two Metropolitan Opera stars as accompanist and assistant soloist and a tour of the Keith-Orpheum circuit throughout the East and in New York City. She made recordings for Welte-Mignon corporation in New York City, who presented her in a comparison recital tour.

For another season she played programs from the classics daily in the Music Room on the mezzanine in the Brooklyn Paramount Theatre in New York, winning this engagement over hundreds of applicants. This attests to her charming personality, her real ability, and an unusually large repertoire.

From time to time Miss Bingaman has been a popular feature in her summer engagements in such places as The Inn at Buck Hill Falls in the Poconos, the Chamberlain-Vanderbilt in Virginia, and the Hotel Del Monte in California, playing programs for their guests. Her radio program, "Music and Meditation" has been a weekly broadcast over stations in San Antonio, Texas, and Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Her more immediate appearances include her engagement as soloist with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra under the late Dr. Max Reiter, and with the Charleston, West Virginia, Symphony Orchestra under Antonio Modarelli, playing the seldom heard "Fantaisie" by Tschaikowski at both concerts with great success, and a short tour with Robert Weede, Metropolitan Opera baritone. In 1950 she was heard in a joint recital in New York City at the Waldorf Hotel with Helen DeWitt, concert violinist.

Her playing teems with fire and energy, poetic tone, and true musical emotion. As one critic summed up: "Ruth Bingaman is one of these artists who can reach the heart of her audience and establish a musical rapport between them."

The brilliancy and effectiveness of her performance is bound to insure for her an invariable success wherever she may be heard.

Press Comments

"Ruth Bingaman starred brilliantly as piano soloist." - New York Journal

"Ruth Bingaman, a talented pianist, displayed a wonderful technic and fine touch and reaped a harvest of applause."- Brooklyn Eagle, New York.

"Ruth Bingaman played the Saint-Saens Concerto as if inspired. She is of slight build but the tone rolled from her fingers as if produced by a person of staunch build. In the last movement her tempo was remarkable. At the conclusion she was greeted with tumultuous applause." -Musical Courier.

"She has a powerful tone, abundant technic and plays without mannerisms."-Musical America.

"Miss Bingaman, as soloist, played two groups of numbers. There is a pleasing directness in her approach which won her audience. She acquitted herself with credit." - New Haven Register, Connecticut.

"Ruth Bingaman played Chopin's Barcarolle and a group of shorter selections in a manner that brought fcrth enthusiastic applause from the occasionally frost-bitten Sprague Hall audience. We hope to hear more from her. - New Haven Journal Courier.

"She proved herself a rare artist, with sure technic, poetic temperament, imaginative style and a limpidity of tone." -Knoxville Tennessee Journal.

"The concerto was brilliantly performed by soloist Ruth Bingaman." -Knoxville Sentinel.

'Beauty of tone, line phrasing, sensibility to rhythm, glowing imagination and lyric appreciation were distinctive qualities of her artistry. - Burlington Vermont Free Press.

"She played with great assurance, poise and abundant technical skill. Add to her musical gifts a most charming stage presence and the result is a very satisfactory and interesting artist." -Monterey California Herald.

"She possesses brilliant technic and a perfect stage presence. Beethoven's Appassionato Sonata was played with admirable conception, emotional fire and remarkable finish. She was recalled by repeated applause." -Monterey California Herald.

"Her playing disclosed musicianship of a thorough caliber." -Houston Texas Post.

"Always a favorite with San Antonio audiences, she played with authoritative tempo and distinct musical interest and appeal. She held a capacity audience at close attention and in response to enthusiastic applause gave three encores at the conclusion." -San Antonio Texas Express.

"A triumph from beginning to end. She is a genuine artist." -Junction City Kansas News.

"Power and charm in unusual degree marked the playing of Ruth Bingaman. She played with such force and fervor that her audience begged for encores."-El Paso Texas Herald.

"The outstanding quality of her music is the feeling she infuses into it--an almost uncanny expression and interpretation."-Buck Hilt Breeze, Buck Hill Falls, Pennsylvania.

"She proved her ability as a line pianist and delighted her hearers." -Virginian Pilot, Newport News, Virginia.

"Her stage presence is gracious and attractive. She has firmness of touch, technical command and depth of musical expression." -Pine Cone, Carmel, California.

"She played with assurance, poise, and abundant technical skill. Add to her musical gifts a most charming stage presence and the result is a very satisfactory and interesting artist." -Hattiesburg, Mississippi, American.

"Soloist Ruth Bingaman's performance of the Tschaikowski work was delivered with an artistic sense of its melodic charm and brilliance. She played with precision and discerning care." -San Antonio, Texas, Light.

"She achieved the level of excellence, displaying keenly developed technique and warm interpretative skill in the subtleties of the Fantaisie by Tschaikowski."-San Antonio, Texas, Express.

"Ruth Bingaman, substituting for Robert Weede's accompanist, gave brilliant support to the singer. She proved her own worth as soloist in a group of numbers and responded with an encore." -Phoenix, Arizona, Gazette.

"She has an impressive command of the keyboard and her performance was technically adroit. Her passage work was nicely articulated and she produced well rounded tone. The audience received her performance with enthusiasm and called her back for several bows." - Bayard Ennis, Charleston, W. Va., Gazette.



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Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors' Association,
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