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 Canada and the United States. He has been a laureate of numerous competitions, including the Dublin International Piano Competition, the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, and the CMC Stepping Stone Competition. 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. 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 prior to that, in recital with Canadian cellist Dongkyun An. A disc with Mr. An of Saint-Saëns, Schumann, and Beethoven was released in December 2016. The upcoming 2019-20 season includes a recording with Sinfonia Toronto, several solo recitals, and the Toronto debut recital of 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) and locally on Toronto’s Classical 96.3. He has partnered in recital with innumerable renowned artists, including Martin Beaver, Colin Carr, Narek Hakhnazaryan, Jacques Israelievitch, Enrique Pina, Wolfgang Redik (formerly of the Vienna Piano Trio), Øystein Baadsvik, and William VerMeulen. As well, he has performed with many notable ensembles such as The Art of Time, ARC, Amici, and 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 is a regular member of the Esprit Orchestra in Toronto, and has worked under prominent conductors Joel Sachs, Steven Schick, and Werner Herbers, as well as with composers John Corigliano, Reinaldo Moya, Chandler Carter, and Alice Hong.
Dr. Smith currently resides in Toronto, serving on the faculty of 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 the University of Western Ontario, and has also served as an undergraduate piano instructor for the Department of Music at Stony Brook 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.