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Musical World

Joshua Smith

  • Flutist


Joshua Smith has appeared as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra on numerous occasions, performing works ranging from Bach to Takemitsu, including the concertos of Mozart, Penderecki, and Nielsen. Upcoming solo performances with the Orchestra include a work being commissioned by the Orchestra from composer Jörg Widmann for performance by Mr. Smith during the 2010-11 season. Collaborators have included Vladimir Ashkenazy, Riccardo Chailly, Myung-Whun Chung, Christoph von Dohnányi, Ton Koopman, Nicholas McGegan, Esa Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, and Franz Welser-Möst.

Smith received a Grammy nomination for best chamber music performance in 2010 for And Then I Knew 'Twas Windfrom his 2008 Telarc recording, Air, with harpist Yolanda Kondonassis and violist Cynthia Phelps featuring music by Takemitsu and Debussy. To mark the release of the CD, which was hailed by Gramophone as “enchanting”, Smith, Kondonassis and Phelps appeared on APM's Performance Today. This season, Delos will release Smith’s second disc of Bach Sonatas with harpsichordist Jory Vinikour, following up on the success of Smith’s first Delos disc of Bach Sonatas with Mr. Vinikour, which was hailed as “virtuosic and lyrical” by Audiophilia and called simply “superb” by The New Yorker.

His recording of the Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp with Maestro Dohnányi and harpist Lisa Wellbaum on the Decca/London label was chosen by Performance Today as "The recording of this piece to own." Mr. Smith can be heard on over 100 Cleveland Orchestra recordings on the Deutsche Gramophon, London/Decca, Nonesuch, and Teldec labels, including featured performances in Debussy’s Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, on the Deutsche Grammophon label, which the Cleveland Plain Dealer praised as“luminous” andexquisite”. Several of Mr. Smith’s live recordings are available for download from

Joshua Smith is dedicated to performing chamber music, and appears regularly as a chamber musician and recitalist throughout the United States and abroad. This season, he will make his debut with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and will tour Israel as a guest artist with the Israeli Chamber Project. This past year, he toured with Musicians of Marlboro and returned to the Marlboro Music Festival for a summer residency. He has recently performed at the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego and the Pensacola Chamber Music Festival. Smith 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, Jonathan Biss, Kathryn Brown, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Emma Tahmizian and Christina Dahl.

Smith, who is intrigued with finding new outlets for his music and bringing classical music to new audiences, is excited about bringing chamber music colleagues into non-traditional venues -- bars, parks, schools, and street-corners throughout Cleveland in the upcoming season. In 2007, he served as guest curator of music for the Cleveland Museum of Art, creating a series of chamber music concerts, which 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 in collaboration with Cleveland actor Laura Perrotta.

In great demand as a teacher, Mr. Smith serves as head of the flute department of the Cleveland Institute of Music and is a faculty member and head of woodwinds at Kent/Blossom Music's professional training program. He is frequently invited to present master classes and workshops at conservatories, flute associations, and major universities around the world, including the Paris Conservatory, the Liszt Academy in Budapest, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School of Music, and other leading institutions in New York, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, and Hong Kong.

He has served as a faculty member of the Marlboro Festival in Vermont, Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine, the National Orchestra Institute in Maryland and Domaine Forget Summer Festival in Québec, as well as a guest artist and coach for the New World Symphony in Florida and the Northern California Flute Camp in Carmel Valley, California. He is a "Master" in the Powell Academy pilot program established by Powell Flutes that offers flutists the opportunity to study privately with masters of the flute.

Joshua Smith is a Powell Artist, and performs on a Powell flute, often with a Folkers and Powell wooden headjoint. 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.