Stephen Michael Smith
Music Director & Conductor
Stephen Michael Smith, an American symphonic and choral conductor, is noted for his ability to communicate his infectious passion for music to fellow musicians and audiences alike. Currently serving as Music Director for three symphony orchestras in the greater New York City area, he is in his twelfth season as Music Director of the Danbury Community Orchestra, tenth as Music Director of The Orchestra at Shelter Rock, and sixth as Music Director of the The Senior Pops Orchestra of Long Island.
In addition, Maestro Smith has served as Music Director of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock since 1999, where he directs a large semi-professional choir and professional concert series. Mr. Smith has performed through the United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, and Russian, and his guest conducting credits include the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), St. Petersburg Camerata (Russia), Karlovy Vary Philharmonic (Czech Republic), Danbury Symphony Orchestra, New Britain Symphony, Massapequa Philharmonic Orchestra, St. Luke’s Orchestra (San Francisco), Riverside Choral Society and Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra.
He was twice chosen to participate in the International Northern Baltic Festival at the historic Hermitage Theatre of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
During his tenures as Music Director/Conductor of the Shrewsbury Chorale (New Jersey) and the Dalton Alumni Chorale (New York City), Mr. Smith prepared both institutions for their Carnegie Hall debuts (Verdi’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9/Missa Solemnis respectively) with New York Grand Opera.
A champion of new works, Stephen Michael Smith has conducted numerous premieres, including the world premieres of Paula Kimper’s Where Everything Is Music and Orchestral Suite from the Bridge of San Luis Rey, Allen Hill’s Toward the Light and The Gift, Larry Deming’s Variations on Blackberry Blossom, and Gerald Busby’s Quatrains, Dances for Piano and Others, Where Everything Is Music and A View of the Landscape (written for Stephen Smith Singers). He also led the New York premiere of William Bolcom’s May-Day, and the US premieres of Mickelson reconstructions of 16th century Venetian works by Gabrieli, Bassano, Obrecht, Zarlino, and Croce.
A native of upstate New York, Mr. Smith received his first professional appointment at the age of 11. He studied conducting with Vincent La Selva at The Juilliard School, and coached privately with Alexander Polishchuck (N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory of St. Petersburg, Russia) and Mariusz Smolij (Northwestern University). In addition, he has participated in international master classes with Robert Shaw, Gunther Schuller and Victor Yampolsky. His early training as an organist was under the tutelage of the renowned concert organist, Claire Coci.