[ alumni ]

Ashley William Smith wins Performance of the Year at Australia’s Art Music Awards

smith_ashleyClarinetist Ashley William Smith ’13 MM, ’14 AD has won Performance of the Year at Australia’s prestigious 2015 Art Music Awards. The awards were presented August 10 in Sydney.

Ashley won for his performance of Lachlan Skipworth’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, performed with the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra under Baldur Brönnimann.

Smith is currently an Artist-in-Residence and Lecturer at the University of Western Australia. “The people nominated in the same category as I was are absolute idols of mine and to be even considered alongside them was humbling,” he said in an announcement from UWA. MORE

Published August 12, 2015
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Ashley Smith ’13MM, ’14AD appointed to faculty at University of Western Australia

smith_ashleyClarinetist Ashley William Smith, winner of the 2012 MCA Freedman Fellowship, otherwise known as the ‘genius’ award, and former student of UWA’s School of Music, has been appointed to the role of Head of Woodwind and Contemporary Performance at the University of Western Australia.

In addition, Ashley will become the official Artist in Residence of the UWA School of Music. MORE

Published October 22, 2013
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[ in the press ]

Beinecke wraps up 50th fete with all kinds of music

New Haven Register
Register Staff

NEW HAVEN >> Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library winds down its 50th anniversary celebration this weekend with three unique musical events and a talk by the esteemed essayist, philosopher and novelist Umberto Eco. All are free.

That talk on the library as a model for culture, takes place today at 5 at Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St.The Jasper String Quartet and Yale School of Music student Ashley Smith will perform “La Prose du Transsiberien,” a 1913 Blaise Cendrars poem set to music by Yale School of Drama faculty member Matthew Suttor, narrated by SOD grad Max Gordon Moore and directed by SOD Yale Rep directing resident and adjunct professor Elizabeth Diamond. It’s at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Beinecke, 121 Wall St.

From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday in the mezzanine, library visitors will hear the second event, “HxWxL,” a sound installation by Suttor curated from aural sources in the library, a kind of Beinecke soundscape.

The final concert, featuring Yale musicians, faculty and alumni performing works “drawn from and based on Beinecke collections,” is 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Sprague Memorial Hall, 470 College St. It’s free, but tickets are required, and may be picked up at the box office there 9 a.m.–5 p.m. today or two hours before the concert. More at 203-432-4158.

Published October 18, 2013
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Ashley Smith ’13MM wins 2012 Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music

The Music Council of Australia and the Freedman Foundation named Ashley Smith ’13MM the winner of the 2012 Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music by the Music Council of Australia.

Roland Peelman, Artistic Director of the Song Company, commented: “Ashley is a very gifted musician – articulate, musical, and committed. The judges were impressed by his commitment to extending the repertoire imaginatively. He has an impressive international network and will be terrific ambassador for new Australian music.”

Smith commented: “My Fellowship is for new music, new audiences and new composers. It means so much to me – I wish to contribute to contemporary music that is living and breathing.”

Australian clarinetist Ashley Smith was the 2010 Symphony International Young Performer Award winner. He is a student of David Shifrin at the Yale School of Music, and last year, was one of the winners of the School’s Chamber Music Competition.

Judging for the Freedman Fellowship took place at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. The judges were Karl Kramer, recently appointed as the new dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Roland Peelman, artistic director of The Song Company; and Goetz Richter, a leading violinist and educator.

Smith’s project is to workshop the performance of the clarinet works of Jorg Widmann, Magnus Lindberg, and Jukka Tiensuu alongside the composers and to present a recital tour in Finland, the United States, and Australia.

Published December 21, 2012
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YSM students participate in YSD’s Sunday in the Park with George

“Anything you do, let it come from you, then it will be new. Give us more to see.”

Students from the Yale School of Drama, Yale School of Music, and Yale College join forces in the School of Drama’s production of Sunday in the Park with George. Dan Schlosberg ’13MM has orchestrated the score and served as music director, and several additional School of Music students are performing in the orchestra.

Sunday in the Park with George features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. This production is directed by Ethan Heard. Performances take place December 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, and 20 at 8 pm at the University Theatre (222 York Street, New Haven). Tickets are available here.

School of Music students and alumni playing in the orchestra are flutists Anouvong Liensavanh and Ginevra Petrucci; clarinetists Ashley Smith and Gleb Kanasevich; violinist Victor Fournelle-Blain; violist Colin Brookes; and percussionist Jonathan Allen.

In 1884, George Seurat painted a masterpiece by holding fast to his personal vision and disregarding everything (and everybody) else. Celebrated as a genius today, he died alone, without having ever sold a single canvas. A century later, another artist named George is adrift, despite great success. Accomplished and desired, he’s lost touch with his inspiration—why, he wonders, does he make art at all? In today’s culture of success and celebrity, Sondheim and Lapine’s landmark musical poses a fundamental question about the “art of making art”: how can an artist both stay true to himself and share his vision with the world?

Students from the Yale School of Drama, Yale School of Music, and Yale College join forces to bring this Pulitzer Prize-winning musical to life. With lush, new orchestrations performed by a nine-piece orchestra, this production embodies the agony and ecstasy of making art.

Published December 10, 2012
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