The 2013-14 Season will mark Brad Smith’s eleventh year as Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble at the University of Pennsylvania. Under Smith’s direction, his ensembles have performed a wide array of repertoire, including masterworks of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and others. Smith has also conducted works by noted contemporary composers such as John Adams, Jacob Druckman, Kevin Puts, Pierre Jalbert, Dana Wilson, Osvaldo Golijov, Jay Reise and Jennifer Higdon. Trained in the public schools of Texas, Smith holds degrees in Conducting and Music Education from The University of Texas at Austin and Stephen F. Austin State University.
Brad Smith is also in his ninth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Delaware County Youth Orchestra, an ensemble of approximately one hundred young musicians chosen by audition as representative of the very best talent in the entire Tri-State area. Each year the orchestra performs concert programs to great acclaim in the greater Philadelphia area. With the support of the DCYO Board of Directors, Smith launched the Distinguished Visiting Artist Series in 2009 with Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon. This special program features personal interaction between students and professional musicians, designed to give orchestra members an intimate view of the life and work of highly talented professional artists.
In the past decade, Smith has enjoyed working with many prominent soloists, including most recently Richard Amoroso, violin, and Carol Jantsch, Principal Tuba of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has also collaborated with noted baritones Randall Scarlatta, Andrew Cummings and Norman Garrett; tenor Adam Frandsen and countertenor Roger Grant; sopranos Sarah Joanne Davis, Jennifer Greene and Maureen Scanlon, and mezzo-soprano Jody Kidwell. Smith will conduct the Penn Symphony Orchestra in an October 2013 performance featuring world-renowned violinist David Kim, Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
In recent years, Smith has served as a guest conductor for the Philadelphia based contemporary ensemble Orchestra 2001 and the Kentucky Music Educators Association Intercollegiate Orchestra. He has previously served as faculty member and conductor for the American Festival for the Arts in Houston and for the Indiana University Summer Music Clinic. Dr. Smith is active as a clinician and adjudicator in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana, Kentucky and Texas. Smith has conducted the music of Samuel Barber for the award-winning arts program “The Front Row” on Houston PBS affiliate KUHF. He has written on the topic of conductor’s programming philosophies as related to both professional and university orchestras.
Dr. Smith has presented clinics for the College Orchestra Directors Association at national conferences in 2004 and in 2012 on the topics of “Orchestral Programming Philosophies” and “Expressive Conducting.” He maintains professional memberships in the College Orchestra Directors Association, League of American Orchestras, College Music Society, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, American Federation of Music Educators and the Conductors Guild. He and his wife Becki and their two daughters reside in the Greater Philadelphia Area.