Firmly established as one of this country’s outstanding flutists, Joshua Smith first came to national attention at the age of 20 when he was appointed principal flute of The Cleveland Orchestra. He was welcomed by the Cleveland press as a “flute phenomenon” and has been praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for being "undoubtedly one of the most scrupulously artistic and versatile flutists in our midst.” Today, he is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. In his solo appearances with The Cleveland Orchestra, Smith has performed works ranging from Bach to Takemitsu, including the concertos of Mozart, Penderecki, and Nielsen. In the fall of 2014, he will be the featured soloist on The Cleveland Orchestra’s European tour, performing Jörg Widmann’s flute concerto, Flute en Suite in London, Lucerne, Berlin, Linz, Amsterdam and Vienna. The Widmann Concerto was commissioned by the orchestra and written for Smith, who performed the world-premiere in May 2011.
Smith received a Grammy nomination for best chamber music performance in 2010 for And Then I Knew ’Twas Wind from his Telarc recording, Air. The recording, with harpist Yolanda Kondonassis and violist Cynthia Phelps, features the music of Takemitsu and Debussy. His discography includes two discs dedicated to the works of JS Bach including Sonatas for flute and continuo, and Sonatas for flute and harpsichord, which was called simply “superb” by The New Yorker. Live from the Marlboro Music Festival with Smith performing music of Ravel with fellow Marlboro musicians was selected by WQXR as the “Album of the Week.” Smith can also be heard on over 100 Cleveland Orchestra recordings on the Deutsche Grammophon, London/Decca, Nonesuch, and Teldec labels.
Intrigued with exploring new ways of connecting with audiences, Smith leads the innovative chamber group, Ensemble HD which includes fellow Cleveland Orchestra members and special guests. The artists perform in concert halls as well as nontraditional venues, including bars, parks, festivals and schools. Ensemble HD released its first double vinyl album in May 2013, Live at the Happy Dog. It was recorded at The Happy Dog, a local bar/restaurant in Cleveland's Gordon Square Arts District, which has provided both an inspiring home base and an enthusiastic crowd for many appearances. The album was hailed by Audiophile Review as “a recording of lovingly performed chamber music” and by the Economist, which noted that the “challenging, ambitious pieces by 20th-century composers such as Dmitri Shostakovich, Anton Webern and Arvo Part divert the crowd from their beers and the awed silence after a piece, before the applause, can be as beautiful as the music itself." Ensemble HD has been featured on NPR's Weekend Edition, BBC and PBS, and in The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer, among others. Smith was invited to speak to the National Endowment for the Arts Council about the outreach efforts by Ensemble HD. “While playing Bach in a bar has an irresistible ‘high art meets low-brow’ appeal” says the NEA in its blog “it’s also a brilliant experiment in community engagement.”
Joshua Smith appears regularly as a chamber musician throughout the United States and abroad. In 2015 Joshua’s performances will include collaborations with Ann Marie Morgan (viola da gamba) and William Simms (theorbo), which will also include a recording, and a return engagement for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. He recently toured Israel as a guest artist with the Israeli Chamber Project, and will make his Merkin Hall debut with them this season. He has toured with Musicians from Marlboro and his summer appearances include the Marlboro Music Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, the Pensacola Chamber Music Festival and the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Fest. He has collaborated with such eminent artists as the Miami and the Guarneri Quartets, members of the Brentano Quartet, soprano Lucy Shelton, violinist Soovin Kim, harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, and pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Gilbert Kalish, Kathryn Brown, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Jonathan Biss and Christina Dahl.
Serving as guest curator of music for the Cleveland Museum of Art, Smith created a series of chamber music concerts that were presented in the galleries of the museum’s special exhibit, “Monet in Normandy.” He has performed in collaborative concerts with the Pensacola Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, and at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Recent recital projects include a program devoted to the Telemann Fantasies for solo flute paired with Shakespeare sonnets.
Mr. Smith serves as head of the flute department of the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is frequently invited to present master classes and workshops at conservatories, flute associations, and major universities, including the Paris Conservatory, Liszt Academy in Budapest, Curtis Institute of Music, and The Juilliard School of Music. He has served as head of woodwinds at Kent/Blossom Music’s professional training program, faculty member and performer at Bowdoin International Music Festival (Maine), the National Orchestra Institute (Maryland) and Domaine Forget Summer Festival (Québec), as well as a guest artist and coach for the New World Symphony in Florida and the Northern California Flute Camp.
A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Smith worked closely with renowned pedagogue Frank Bowen before attending Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner. A Powell Artist, he performs most often on a new granadilla Powell or an old Rudall-Carte.
Mr. Smith is represented by Genevieve Spielberg Inc., Personal Representation & Publicity
Visit Joshua's blog: Joshua Smith on playing