Guest Conductor for Week Two... Mark Russell Smith - Sewanee Summer Music Festival
Mark Russell Smith
“Conductor Mark Russell Smith brought energy to the podium, often choosing invigorating tempos and raising lesser-heard phrases to the forefront.” - Columbus Dispatch
But Smith and the Santa Barbara Symphony did more than present a competent performance—they gave it new depth, with perfectly balanced harmonies, and carefully measured crescendos, showing us the contours of the work with only our imaginations providing the images to accompany it.” - Santa Barbara Independent
Three things about Mark Russell Smith:
- It’s all about the music. He has an “enthusiastic commitment to the art of music-making” and is passionate about his craft. Evidently, this translates to his conducting. To quote The Washington Post, “Smith’s gifts as a sympathetic Mahler interpreter were most evident in the slow movement, which achieved heartfelt eloquence in an aura of hushed intimacy.”
- He boasts a broad swath of international engagements, including guest conducting with a number of prominent institutions: the St. Louis Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Virginia Opera, Orquesta Sinfonica de Costa Rica, the Curtis Orchestra… and many more (we’ll let you read the full list on his biography.)
- He pushes the envelope in a meaningful way. Smith holds a strong interest in new music, and in making music accessible and relevant world wide. Often he accomplishes this with the use of technology*. This has been demonstrated by his involvement in contemporary, innovative projects such as St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Engine 408, Hún Qiáo (“Bridge of Souls”, a concert of remembrance with YoYo Ma and and members of the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota), University of Minnesota’s Britten Peace Project and the International Piano-e-Competition. Mark Russell Smith’s creativity is on a mission.
Read more about Mark Russell Smith at markrussellsmith.net.
Read about all 2014 SSMF Conductors here.