Daniel Smith


Daniel Smith

“Right from the overture – tense, tight, contrasting, beautifully shaped, as plaintive as incisive – Daniel Smith imposes his mark with a performance of rare intelligence, attesting to an in-depth knowledge of the work, its construction, its motives, where nothing is left to chance.” (Forum Opera Magazine)

Daniel Smith’s passion for music is irrepressible. He rapidly gained worldwide acclaim as the only conductor to be awarded Laureate in four of the most prestigious international conducting competitions including: UNESCO’s International Conducting Competition (honouring Grzegorz Fitelberg), where he also received the Gold Baton and Orchestra’s Choice Prize, along with the Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. Observed by Maestro Valery Gergiev, Smith was invited as the first Australian to conduct The Mariinsky Orchestra. Featured in Time Magazine, Smith was personally reinvited as a regular guest conductor to The Mariinsky Theatre. Smith then began his tenure as Direttore Principale Ospite of Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova.

A citizen of the world, born in Australia and residing in Italy, Smith proudly bears the Italian honour of Australian Cultural Ambassador. A scholar of the broad stroke of predominately European creative institutions, Smith’s music degrees hail from the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, Accademia Musicale Chigiana Siena, Trinity College London, University of Music Bratislava, Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen.

“The dynamic Australian conductor Daniel Smith articulated a sensational evening of delicious music. Smith and the orchestra gave evidence of a spirited, energetic and perfumed interpretation, highlighting a sensual and elegiac Adagio in which they displayed all their sensitivity and perfect harmony.” (El Correo)

On the symphonic podium, Smith’s musicality, energy and spirit create an infectious rapport with musicians and audiences alike. Following his highly successful debut with The Mariinsky Orchestra, Smith has guest conducted the Czech Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw National Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic, Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic, as well as at the Mozarteum Festspiele, Estate Musicale Chigiana Siena, Aspen Music Festival and Stars of the White Nights in St Petersburg.

World and National Premieres have been graced by Smith’s baton. Bedřich Smetana – Má vlast (new critical edition), Giorgio Battistelli – Ötzi, Nicola Campogrande – Symphony No.1, Fazıl Say – Flute Concerto, John Adams – Violin Concerto and John Williams – Battle of the Heroes (Star Wars: Episode III).

Unique opportunities afforded to Smith included regularly conducting the Season Opening in Genova, in celebration of Niccolò Paganini. On a heavily guarded stage, Paganini’s violin concerti were performed on his priceless violin Il Cannone, rarely released from its bulletproof glass vault. Smith was made a lifetime honorary Friend of Paganini.

Smith has also been made an Honorary PWM Artist (Polish Music Publishing House) and DSCH (Shostakovich) Artist.

As an advocate for Australian and Indigenous music, Smith performs in tandem with Australia’s foremost didgeridoo virtuoso, William Barton, bringing together didgeridoo and orchestra.

“It’s not often that the conductor of an opera wins more applause than the cast. Australian conductor, Daniel Smith was given a rock-star ovation and won himself a legion of admirers.” (Arts Review)

Smith affirmed his success in the opera pit specialising in bel canto and the Italian operatic repertoire after winning the Mancinelli International Opera Conducting Competition. Establishing an invaluable collaboration with director Franco Zeffirelli, and more recently with director Damiano Michieletto, Smith debuted at the Rossini Opera Festival, Mariinsky Theatre and Opera Australia with Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims. More collaborations followed in the creation of new productions with the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro San Carlo, Norwegian National Opera, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Greek National Opera.

“A perfect production! Daniel Smith, it was as if the opera was written for him!” (Mariinsky TV)

With a prominent presence on social media, Smith regularly appears on prime-time television including current affairs and entertainment programs; all to promote, engender and share his passion for music. He is committed to working with and inspiring young people through his diverse educational initiatives.

Close to his heart, is Smith’s charity: The Daniel Smith Gift of Music Foundation. Mirroring his philosophy that music is the right of all, Smith donates concert tickets to those who have financial or physical constraints.

“The return of the maestro on stage was greeted with roaring euphoria. The evening ended with many selfies and beautiful memories.” (La Voce Sannita)

Daniel Smith