Steven Smith joined the VCU Department of Music as an affiliate faculty member in fall 2014, the same year he celebrated his fifth season as Music Director of the Richmond Symphony and his third season in the Lewis T. Booker Music Director Chair. He continues as Music Director of the Grammy Award-winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony and in 2013 completed a 14 year tenure as Music Director of the Santa Fe Symphony & Chorus.
From 1997 to 2003, Smith served as the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra where he appeared on the subscription series at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center. With a strong commitment to arts education, he assisted in the planning and conducting of the Cleveland Orchestra’s educational and family concerts and hosted the orchestra’s annual broadcast videoconference which won an Emmy Award in 2001. For five seasons, he also served as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra which performed by invitation at Carnegie Hall in 2001. From 2002-05, he was associate professor at Oberlin Conservatory, where he led both orchestral and opera performances.
In April 2013, Smith made his debut with the Virginia Opera conducting their performances of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.” He has appeared as guest conductor with orchestras such as San Francisco, Milwaukee, Houston, Detroit, Puerto Rico Symphony and the Aspen Music Festival. Abroad, he has performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, New Zealand’s Auckland Philharmonia, Taiwan’s National Symphony Orchestra and Mexico’s Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa. In addition, he has conducted numerous opera and orchestral performances at Indiana University and Brevard Music Center.
Smith is an ASCAP award-winning composer, with commissions from the Cleveland Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Eugene Youth Symphony and solo artists. He was named Ohio Composer of the Year for 2008.
A native of Toledo, Ohio, he earned Master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is the recipient of the CIM Alumni Association 1999 Alumni Achievement Award and the Geraldine C. and Emory M. Ford Foundation’s Conductor Career Development Grant.