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Conducting Symposium

James R. Smith
James Smith Bio
Emeritus Professor of Orchestral Conducting 
And Opera
Mead Witter School of Music
University of Wisconsin-Madison  

Thursday, February 20
Session 1:  12:30-1:50 p.m.
Session 2:  3:15-4:20 p.m.

Octet for Wind Instruments – Stravinsky Mvts 1 and 2
Sept Dances – Francaix Mvts TBA
Serenade in C minor, K 388 – Mozart Mvt 1​ 

James R. Smith Bio

James Smith is Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of music where he conducted the University Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra and served as the Music Director of the University Opera Program. Mr. Smith began his career as a clarinetist. After graduation from Southern Methodist University, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study clarinet in London, England, and subsequently received a graduate degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Robert Marcellus. He has performed with the Empire Sinfonietta in New York City, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the Miami Philharmonic. While in New York, he appeared as soloist with the Empire Sinfonietta performing Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with Aaron Copland conducting. Mr. Smith has performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and was principal clarinet with the Miami Philharmonic. 

An interest in conducting began while teaching at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he co-founded a faculty-student chamber orchestra, the Fredonia Chamber Players, and began appearing as a conductor with the university’s bands and orchestra. From New York, he moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to conduct the Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band. Two years later, Mr. Smith was invited by the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras to become their Music Director. In 1998, Mr. Smith was appointed Music Director of the University Opera Program and in 2005, he was appointed Director of Orchestral Studies.

James Smith retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017, and is looking forward to years of guest conducting.