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Clinton Smith returns to Arizona Opera to conduct the world premiere of Frankenstein with performances in Phoenix and Tuscon. He will make his Indianapolis Opera debut conducting Charlie Parker's Yardbird and will serve on the Atlanta Opera's coaching and conducting staff. He also joins Georgia State University's vocal coaching staff this academic year. 

Clinton's 2022/2023 season included a return to Dayton Opera to conduct Charlie Parker’'s Yardbird with the Dayton Philharmonic in the pit. He returned to Arizona Opera and led an orchestral workshop of the newly commissioned Frankenstein and conducted members of the Atlanta Symphony at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church for their annual presentation of Messiah. On the orchestral stage, he made his guest conducting debut with the Georgia Philharmonic, leading two subscription concerts.

Clinton Smith's 2021/2022 season included a return to Dayton Opera to conduct L'elisir d'amore and Opera Las Vegas to conduct Strawberry Fields/Trouble In Tahiti. He covered Tosca and Attila at Sarasota Opera, and made his Opera Company of Middlebury conducting debut with Orphée aux Enfers. When home in Atlanta, he regularly coached The Atlanta Opera's young artists. He spent his ninth summer on the music staff at Santa Fe Opera covering the world premiere of Corgliano/Adamo's Lord of Cries.

Mr. Smith’s recent appearances on the podium include the Atlanta Opera, Florentine Opera, Arizona Opera, Dayton Opera, Opera Orlando, Kentucky Opera, Opera Birmingham, Tacoma Opera, Opera Las Vegas, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Pacific Northwest Opera, University of Michigan, Baldwin-Wallace University, and have included the preparation of over sixty operas in German, Italian, French, English, Czech, Russian, and Mandarin. He served on Santa Fe Opera's music staff for nine seasons.


On equal footing in the orchestral world, Mr. Smith recently concluded a collective nine years as music and artistic director of both Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers and the St. Cloud Symphony, conducting over 60 orchestral, oratorio, chamber, pops, educational, and holiday concert performances. While music director of OSSCS, he saw subscriptions double and worked in tandem with the managing director to double annual fundraising events. Among his many accomplishments include conducting seven to ten subscription concerts a season, creating a chamber music series, annual Messiah performances, and partnering with numerous cultural and educational organizations including the Hong Kong Association of Washington, the Seattle Chinese Arts Group, German Consulate, Cornish College, and Seattle University, to name a few. He launched a composer competition which premiered a new work annually, and a concerto competition to showcase local talent. His carefully curated programming focused on locally relevant themes, and explored an enormous breadth of musical styles and genres.

"Music often touches us in a way words cannot, and for me, Maestro Clinton Smith's rendition of Schnyder's score went straight to the heart. His ensemble played every style and every layer of intense harmonic color with graceful fluidity."


- Maria Nockin, OPERA WIRE

"Conductor Clinton Smith led the Arizona Opera orchestra in a wonderful performance that brought out the lush beauty and somber eeriness of Kallor's score."


- Cathalena Burke, ARIZONA DAILY STAR

"Likewise the orchestra, under the expert guidance of Clinton Smith, is magnificent, performing flawlessly and capturing the moods of the moment and the emotions of the characters."


- Herbert Paine, BROADWAY WORLD

For four seasons, Minnesota Opera engaged Mr. Smith as cover conductor and chorus master, where he led main stage performances of La traviata and Madama Butterfly and covered the St. Paul Chamber and Minnesota Opera Orchestras in over 20 productions. During 2011, Mr. Smith conducted a workshop and prepared the world premiere of Kevin Puts'’ opera Silent Night, which won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music. For Minnesota Opera's New Works Initiative, Mr. Smith prepared workshops & performances of Douglas J. Cuomo's Doubt, Rick Ian Gordon's The Garden of the Finzi Continis, and the North-American premiere of Jonathan Dove's The Adventures of Pinocchio, as well as Dominick Argento's Casanova's Homecoming and Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights.

Previous positions include assistant conductor and chorus master for San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, assistant conductor for Glimmerglass Opera, assistant conductor for Juilliard Opera, music director for Western Ontario University's Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, guest coach at the National University of Taiwan, music director and conductor of the Franco-American Vocal Academy in France, the Austrian-American Mozart Academy in Salzburg, and the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra. Born in Texas, Mr. Smith holds degrees in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan and piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin.

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