Brinton Smith romances Schumann
November 6, 2006 12:11:00 am
Smith was recently featured alongside pianist Timothy Hester for a performance of the Three Romances, Op.94 by Robert Schumann. The performance was recorded at Houston's First Unitarian Universalist Church and was included on a Channing Concerts/Greenbriar Consortium program held on May 9th, 2006.
Other recent performances by Brinton Smith include appearances with orchestras in Detroit, San Diego, New Jersey, Houston, San Jose, Fort Worth, Tucson, Eugene, Flagstaff, Phoenix and Auckland, New Zealand and include the Brahms Double Concerto with violinist Gil Shaham.
Mr. Smith recorded the Miklos Rozsa Cello Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for a Koch International Classics release that received widespread international critical acclaim. The annual Gramophone Awards Issue praised Smith as a “hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist,” and continued, “The sheer bravura of Smith’s reading is infectious.” His recent recording of Faure’s piano trio and Apres un Reve with Gil Shaham for Shaham’s new Canary Classics label was recently chosen as Gramophone magazine’s Disc of the Month and was selected as one of BBC Music magazine’s best albums of the year. Mr. Smith will also be featured on an upcoming Koch release of the chamber music of composer Steven Gerber with violinists Kurt Nikkanen and Cho Liang Lin.
Mr. Smith joined the Houston Symphony in the fall of 2005 as their new principal cellist. Prior to this, he was a member of the New York Philharmonic, where he was the first musician appointed by music director Lorin Maazel, and was also previously the principal cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Smith is a member of the faculty at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and has also served as a professor at Teachers College, Columbia University.
An active chamber musician, Smith has collaborated with members of the Beaux Arts Trio and the Guarneri, Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Berg quartets, as well as performances with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic Chamber Series and, with violinist Gil Shaham, at the Aspen Music Festival Winter recital series and the Linton series in Cincinnati. Mr. Smith was a prize winner of the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition as well as several consecutive Juilliard and Aspen Music Festival concerto competitions. While at Juilliard, he received the Melini Award for excellence in performance and was invited to perform at the American Cello Congress. His performances have been broadcast on CBS Sunday Morning and on radio throughout the U.S. and in New Zealand, South Africa, and Germany.
Brinton Averil Smith began his musical studies at age five. At age 10 he was admitted to Arizona State University, where he took courses in mathematics and German and, by age 17, completed a B.A. in mathematics. While a scholarship student of Eleonore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California, he was also a teaching assistant in the mathematics department, and completed work for an M.A. in mathematics at age 19. He subsequently relocated to New York to study with cellist Zara Nelsova at The Juilliard School, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree, writing on the playing of Emanuel Feuermann.