Piano (Grades 7 & Open)
Described as a “thoughtful and immensely exciting performer” with “scintillating technique” (Barrie Examiner) and “intelligently rounded musicianship” (The Irish Times), pianist Benjamin Smith has performed as soloist and chamber musician across North America. He has been a laureate of numerous competitions, including the Dublin International, the Virginia Waring International, and the CMC Stepping Stone. Guest appearances include the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, the New Juilliard Ensemble, the Las Vegas Young Artists Orchestra, the Ontario Philharmonic, Orchestra London, the Windsor Symphony, and the University of Toronto’s Hart House Orchestra. As soloist, he has performed under esteemed conductors such as Rossen Milanov and Marco Parisotto, with concertos including rarities such as the Schoenberg Piano Concerto. Festival appearances include Toronto Summer Music, Banff Summer Arts, Stratford Summer Music, Music Niagara, New Park (Ithaca, NY), and the Wellington Water Week festival. American performances include recitals for the Texas Chopin Society and Chicago’s Landowska Harpsichord Society. Recent seasons have included two concerts in Carnegie Hall, most recently as soloist in Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue with the Hart House Orchestra, and previously in recital with Canadian cellist Dongkyun An. A disc with Mr. An of Saint-Saens, Schumann, and Beethoven was released in December 2016. The 2019-20 season sees solo recitals around Ontario, as well as a duo recital with violinist Jinjoo Cho, and a duo recital with Gábor Tarkövi, principal trumpet of the Berlin Philharmonic.
Devoting considerable time to chamber music, Ben has been heard nationally across Canada on CBC Music (Radio 2). He has partnered in recital with renowned artists including Martin Beaver, Timothy Chooi, Colin Carr, Narek Hakhnazaryan, Jacques Israelievitch, Julie Nesrallah, Joaquin Valdepeñas, Øystein Baadsvik and William VerMeulen, as well as with ensembles such as the Penderecki, Cecilia, Tokai, and Annex string quartets. For two seasons he performed as one-third of the Israelievitch-Smith-Ahn piano trio. Involved with music of our time as well, he can regularly be found playing keyboards for the Esprit Orchestra.
Dr. Smith currently resides in Toronto, maintaining a concert schedule and serving on the faculties of both the Glenn Gould School (GGS) and the Taylor Young Artist Academy at the Royal Conservatory. Previously, he held a position on the piano faculty at Western University. His principal teachers included Andrea Battista, James Anagnoson, Julian Martin, and Christina Dahl. Along with a DMA from Stony Brook University, he holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto, an Artist Diploma from the GGS, and a Masters from Juilliard.