Praised for his “virtuosic,” “dazzling,” and “brilliant” performances (New York Times) and his “bold, keen sound” (The New Yorker), oboist James Austin Smith performs equal parts new and old music across the United States and around the world. Mr. Smith is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Talea Ensemble, and Cygnus, as well as Co-Artistic Director of Decoda, an Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, and Tertulia, a chamber music series that takes place in restaurants in New York and San Francisco. He is a member of the Manhattan School of Music and State University of New York at Purchase faculties.
Mr. Smith’s festival appearances include Marlboro, Lucerne, Chamber Music Northwest, Schleswig-Holstein, Stellenbosch, Orlando, Stift, Bay Chamber Concerts, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 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.
Mr. Smith received his Master of Music degree in 2008 from the Yale School of Music; he graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Bachelor of Music degree 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. Mr. Smith’s principal teachers are Stephen Taylor, Christian Wetzel, Humbert Lucarelli and Ray Still.
The son of musician parents and the eldest of four boys, Mr. Smith was born in New York and raised in Connecticut.