Brinton Averil Smith, Cellist

Brinton A. SmithHailed by New York Newsday for "Extraordinary musicianship...forceful, sophisticated and entirely in the spirit of the music," cellist Brinton Averil Smith’s North American engagements have included numerous performances in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York, the Marlboro Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Banff Centre for the Arts, and include recent recital appearances in Dallas, Phoenix, San Diego, Tucson and Los Angeles. In addition to appearances in Europe and Africa, Dr. Smith is a frequent concerto soloist in the US where his recent performances include appearances with orchestras in Detroit, San Diego, Phoenix, Flagstaff, New Jersey and Ft. Worth and collaborations with violinist Gil Shaham and conductors including Junichi Hirokami, Enrique Diemecke, Yoav Talmi, Kate Tamarkin, Jung-Ho Pak and Alistaire Neal among others.

Dr. Smith was recently chosen to record the Rozsa Cello Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and conductor James Sedares for Koch International. The resulting recording was released to international critical acclaim including the 1998 Gramophone Awards Issue, which praised Smith as a ‘hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist’, and continued ‘The sheer bravura of Smith’s reading is infectious.’

Brinton Averil Smith was also a prizewinner of the 1997 Leonard Rose International Cello Competition in addition to several Juilliard and Aspen Music Festival concerto competitions. While at Juilliard he was awarded the Melini award for excellence in performance and was invited by the American Cello Council to perform at the third American Cello Congress. His broadcast performances include WNCN in New York, National Public Radio in Germany, Radio South Africa and CBS Sunday Morning.

An active chamber musician, Smith has collaborated with members of the Beaux Arts trio and of the Guarneri, Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland and Berg Quartets, in performances with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and at the Aspen Music Festival Winter recital series. In addition to his duties as the principal cellist of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Smith was recently appointed as an Artist-in-Residence at the Texas Christian University School of Music. Dr. Smith also previously served as principal cellist of the San Diego Symphony, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra and the Juilliard Orchestra.

Brinton Averil Smith began his musical studies at age five. At age ten he was admitted to Arizona State University, where he took courses in mathematics and German and, by age 17, completed a BA degree in mathematics. While a scholarship student of Eleonore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California, he was also a teaching assistant in the mathematics department, and completed work for an MA in mathematics at age 19. He subsequently relocated to New York to study with Zara Nelsova at The Juilliard School, where he recently received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, writing on the playing of Emanuel Feuermann.

Reviews:

". . . Brinton Smith (a prize-winning pupil of Zara Nelsova at the Juilliard School) is the hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist . . . The sheer bravura of Smith's reading is infectious"
Gramophone

" . . . only one thing gave any sense of order to the evening: the extraordinary musicianship of the young Juilliard performer. . .challenges were met and transcended. Brinton Smith's cello playing in the Trumpy was forceful, sophisticated and entirely in the spirit of the music's rhetorical wandering."
New York Newsday

. . . (Smith) is perfectly suited to the elusive quality of the solo part. . .He plays with great conviction and character. In the expansive soundworld of the second movement, the cello sings out above broad washes of orchestral color, Smith imbuing its meandering line with bounteous expressivity. Disparate elements collide in the finale, Smith proving his virtuosity with the cello’s dizzying harmonics."
The Strad

"Give cellist Brinton Smith melody and he'll shape it, tenderize it and make it sing. He's a romantic at heart, given to rhapsodic outpourings that reveal the tonal richnesss of his instrument. . . . Robust playing, sweet-toned and lustrous"
San Diego Union-Tribune

"Cellist Brinton Averil Smith played an amazing solo in the third movement - it has made me reconsider my views on the cello as a solo instrument. The deep undertones were remarkably pleasant to the ear, unlike certain other recent cello solos. Smith's performance demonstrated once again why he is such an asset to the Fort Worth Symphony....Brinton Averil Smith is an amazing cellist. I just had to watch the way he held his cello as he walked onto the stage to know that he would put on an amazing show. And fortunately for us, he is the principal cellist of the FWSO, and will be here for many more performances."
www.dallasmusic.com

"Cellist Brinton Averil Smith was soloist for Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. This was the third perfromance of this masterpiece in area concerts this fall; Yo-Yo Ma and Ralph Kirshbaum each performed the piece with the Dallas Symphony in recent months. Although Smith doesn’t have the international reputation of Ma or Kirshbaum, his rendition was the best of the lot. He played with a lean, bright and flexible tone, comparable to the voice type called 'lyric' ... ideally suited for the combination of songlike and spiritual qualities of this concerto. And he communicated total involvement in the work’s grand structure."
Star-Telegram (Dallas)

" . . . He dominates the instrument, as Nelsova does, to be sure. More than that, however, he plays so smoothly that the sound is almost constantly beautiful, seldom rough, never strident. . . resulting in a flow of gorgeous, seemingly unending, beautifully resonant melody . . . He has style. His technique is flourishing and solid. Best of all, he manifests the grandeur of heart it takes to become a first-rank virtuoso"
Arizona Daily Sun

" . . . strongly projected...eloquent, grave monologue"
The New Yorker

" . . . Breathtakingly beautiful performance"
San Diego Reader

" . . . Smith displayed his exceptional musical gifts. Chief among them were an impassioned determination, a handsome tone and a zeal for accuracy . . .Smith maintained his high-intensity concentration. He played as if each trill trembled with imagination, and every melody exuded compositional genius"
San Diego Union-Tribune

". . . extremely challenging solo writing that Smith tosses off with mastery and abandon"
The Arizona Republic

"Dazzling Virtuosity"
Star-Telegram (Dallas)

For booking information please contact:

Dr. Brinton A. Smith
30 W. 61st St., #31D
4101 Steeplechase Dr.
New York, NY 10023
(212) 956-5549 Voice/Fax
batcello@aol.com
or Dr. Brinton A. Smith
Colleyville, TX 76034-3753
(817) 788-5628 Voice/Fax
batcello@aol.com

Return to Biographies
Return Home