Solo performances

“[Widmann’s] enchanting new flute concerto …  Largely responsible for the work’s favorable first impression is Smith, whose dashing performance Thursday transcended the work’s considerable difficulty and held listeners on the edge of their seats. Also noteworthy were Smith’s flutist colleagues, whose roles in the piece were nearly as exposed and vital as his own.”
The Plain Dealer, 2011

“Joshua Smith ended the program with Bach’s Partita in A minor for solo flute, a particularly brave choice. Not only does the flutist have to shape the melody and the counterpoint largely with his breathing, but Mr. Smith was also performing at an altitude of some 7,000 feet, where the air is thin, and breathing is hard to begin with. No matter: Mr. Smith, performing on a wooden flute with modern keys and fittings, made it sound … not easy, exactly, but comfortable and even magisterial at times.”
The New York Times, 2013

“The flute part (Penderecki’s “Flute Concerto”) is a text of expressive and technical possibilities. Joshua Smith, the orchestra’s principal flute, gave the work a riveting performance last night. He managed the bold, frantic passages with charismatic personality, and he was controlled and glowing in sound in the dulcet moments.”
The Plain Dealer

“…soloist Joshua Smith conveyed the latter Penderecki’s ideas with uncommon vitality and conviction. … Smith’s affinity for the writing came through in a performance that found both the edgy excitement and the lyricism of Penderecki’s sophisticated score.”
Akron Beacon Journal

“Smith came to Reno preceded by notices flaunting a stellar reputation as one of the world’s finest flutists. Much to his credit, he left town with his rave reviews for artistry and virtuosity intact.
Performing Lowell Liebermann’s intricate Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, and doing it well, is an achievement. The Liebermann isn’t a concerto in the traditional display-piece-for-athletic-virtuosity scheme of things. It hints in the direction of Wagnerian power, then says what it has to say without the affectation of merely showing off. It’s music that just happens to be as technically demanding as it is musically fulfilling. Smith scored wonderfully on all counts for an impressive presentation.”
Jack Neal’s Music Reviews, 2009

“…Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto, which principal flutist Joshua Smith carried off with such panache. … Smith made a terrific advocate for this technically challenging piece, lighting into its first movement with an intensity that he kept up throughout. Smith has a big sound that carries easily, and he found a way through the difficulties of the work to communicate its emotional center as well.”
Akron Beacon Journal, 1998

“Principal flutist Joshua Smith played the Flute Concerto No. 1 with radiant enchantment, demonstrating elegant artistry that continues to shoot upward.”
The Plain Dealer, 1996

Widmann - Most - SmithWidmann - Most - Smith
The Cleveland Orchestra

“The program opened with Debussy’s atmospheric “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” with the insinuating flute solo gorgeously played by Joshua Smith.”
The New York Times, 2011

“Joshua Smith, the orchestra’s principal flute, played the solo role (of Takemitsu’s “I Hear the Water Dreaming”) with elegant phrasing, gorgeous sound and expressive tone-building. The ensemble supplied the touches of color and articulation that made the music glitter. The performance, a Cleveland Orchestra premiere, was the high point of the evening.”
The Plain Dealer, 2003

“”Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune,” with luminous flute playing by Joshua Smith, unfolds with utter naturalness of pacing and inflection. It is seamless, and the execution is exquisite.”
The Plain Dealer, 1995

Joshua Smith
Chamber Music

“Smith’s magic flute frolicked and sighed, breathed in tender moments and broke out with brilliance at others. His is a luxurious yet reserved tone always moving from a very balanced center, never assertive, never shy.”
“Not a note went by without one of these Musicians from Marlboro beaming this or that entry in the score, whether a melody, a repeated note for accompaniment, or just a single point at the cadence. Sheer joy made its way through every one of their instruments.”
The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 2009

“Joshua Smith was the masterful soloist, instilling lines with bite, subtlety and bracing virtuosity.”
The Plain Dealer

“Joshua Smith unfolded lines with subtle radiance, and his attention to nuance and coloration was matched by violist Stanley Konopka and harpist Yolanda Kondonassis.”
The Plain Dealer

“Joshua Smith filled the piece with tonal beauty and fluent, facile artistry”
The Plain Dealer, 1994

Joshua Smith, Marlboro Music Festival 2014
Ensemble HD: LIVE at the Happy Dog

“freshness and verve brought to the music by a superb assemblage of Cleveland Orchestra musicians” – American Record Guide

“This album is part of a grand (and successful) experiment to bring classical music out of the sacred halls of the symphony and opera houses down to a place where the average person might be more likely to go: in this case, a bar.” – Audiophile

“everything about this record is nothing short of miraculous” – AnalogPlanet

“Ensemble HD’s playing glistens with virtuosity and invention” – Voix de Arts

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Air: music for harp, flute and strings by Debussy and Takemitsu

“The immediately arresting aspect of Mr. Smith’s playing is the uncommonly expansive scope of his phrasing, every note given full value but equally integrated into the broader progressions of the music.” – Voix des Arts

“This new CD should create a demand for more recordings featuring his full tone, elegant style, and outstanding technique. He reveals a distinctively poetic style and the ability to communicate emotionally in all his performances here.” – Flute Network

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Joshua Smith
J.S. Bach Flute Sonatas

“This is a fabulous recording. Run, don’t walk, to get a copy.” – Pan Magazine

“Superb…” – The New Yorker

“Insightful technically and expressive emotionally, these performances are the kind that reward endless listening.” – The Plain Dealer

“…superb flute playing, great accompanying, and some of the most gorgeous music this side of heaven. Highly recommended.” – Audiophilia

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Joshua Smith - Bach Sonatas
J.S. Bach Flute Sonatas with Continuo

“The second disc, a splendid extension of the first” – Cleveland Classical

“[Joshua Smith’s] playing is delightfully devoid of extreme vibrato and heavy-handed articulation, and displays a consistently thoughtful understanding of the music’s underlying harmonic structure. … He is also brilliantly accompanied by colleagues Jory Vinikour, harpsichord, and Ann Marie Morgan, baroque cello, and the trio’s teamwork is pretty close to flawless.” – The Whole Note

“Smith does not fail to deliver here, creating a performance that is both intimate and dazzling.” – Flutist Quarterly

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Joshua Smith - Bach Sonatas