André Raphel Smith
Celebrating his inaugural season as Music Director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, André
Raphel Smith enjoys a reputation as one of the most exciting artists of his generation.
In addition to his performances with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, André Raphel Smith
also includes among his current season's schedule his debut with the Orquesta Sinfonica
Nacional de Costa Rica and a pair of engagements with The North Carolina Symphony, to which
he returns for both a subscription set and a gala special concert with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
André Raphel Smith maintains an active career as a guest conductor and has appeared with many
of the nation's leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston and Chicago
Symphony Orchestras and The Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras. In recent seasons he has
conducted the Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Fort Worth, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis,
Knoxville, Memphis, National, New Jersey, New World, North Carolina, Oregon, Saint Louis,
Seattle, Syracuse and Utah Symphony Orchestras, Louisiana and Rochester Philharmonic
Orchestras, The Minnesota Orchestra and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In 1997, he made
his Carnegie Hall debut, leading the Orchestra of St. Luke's, returning to the famed hall with the
same orchestra in the following season. Mr. Smith's international engagements include
performances with Brazil's Campos Do Jordao Festival Orchestra and New Zealand's Auckland
A frequent guest conductor at the major music festivals, Andre Raphel Smith has led programs at
the Blossom Music Festival with The Cleveland Orchestra and at the Mann Music Center with
The Philadelphia Orchestra. During 2003, he led the Kennedy Center/National Symphony
Orchestra Summer Music Institute. He has also conducted at the Tanglewood Music Center,
Eastern Music Festival and Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival.
From 1994-2000, André Raphel Smith was Assistant Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Highlights of his tenure include critically acclaimed performances of John Corigliano's
Symphony No. 1, the world premiere of Hannibal Peterson's One Heart Beating and the
establishment of "Classix Live," an innovative series of casual concerts. Prior to his appointment
in Philadelphia, Mr. Smith served as Assistant Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony
Orchestra, under the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Conductors program.
André Raphel Smith has a strong and active interest in audience development and arts education.
During his tenure with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, he served as Music Director of its
"In Unison" program, a partnership between the orchestra and local churches. He has also been
heard nationally as a featured artist on NPR's "Performance Today." Mr. Smith's commitment to
education is also reflected in his work with orchestras at leading conservatories and training
programs throughout the country. He frequently appears with The Juilliard Orchestra and has
also led performances at the National Orchestral Institute and with The New World Symphony
and Young Artists Orchestra at Tanglewood.
Born in Durham, North Carolina, André Raphel Smith began formal music lessons at age 11. He
received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Miami, continuing his studies at
Yale University, where he earned his Master's degree. While at Yale, Mr. Smith began his
conducting studies with Otto-Werner Mueller. He pursued further study with Maestro Mueller at
The Curtis Institute of Music, earning a diploma in conducting, and at The Juilliard School,
where he was awarded the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship and received an advanced
certificate in orchestral conducting.
André Raphel Smith is the recipient of numerous awards, among them Honorary
Commendations from the cities of Philadelphia and Saint Louis. In 2001, he was awarded the
"Order of the Long Leaf Pine" by the North Carolina Senate. The award, presented annually, is
the state's highest honor for a civilian.