James Austin Smith
Lecturer in Music
Praised for his “virtuosic,” “dazzling,“ and “brilliant” performances (The New York Times) and his “bold, keen sound” (The New Yorker), oboist James Austin Smith performs equal parts new and old music across the U.S. and around the world. Smith is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Talea Ensemble, and Cygnus Ensemble; co-artistic director of Decoda, the affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall; and co-artistic director of Tertulia, a chamber music series that takes place in restaurants in New York and San Francisco. He is on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College and the Manhattan School of Music.
Smith’s festival appearances include Marlboro, Lucerne, Chamber Music Northwest, Schleswig-Holstein, Stellenbosch, Bay Chamber Concerts, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, OK Mozart, Schwetzingen, and Spoleto USA. He has performed with the St. Lawrence, Orion, and Parker string quartets and recorded for the Nonesuch, Bridge, Mode, and Kairos labels. His debut solo recording, Distance, was released in early 2015 on South Africa’s TwoPianists Record Label.
Smith received his Master of Music degree in 2008 from the Yale School of Music and graduated in 2005 with a BA (political science) and BM from Northwestern University. He spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Leipzig, Germany, at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy” and is an alumnus of Ensemble ACJW, a collaboration of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School, the Weill Music Institute, and the New York City Department of Education. His principal teachers are Stephen Taylor, Christian Wetzel, Humbert Lucarelli, and Ray Still.