Born: January 31, 1947 - Lewiston, Idaho, USA
Died: November 14, 2007 - Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The American conductor, Craig Smith, began studying the piano at 4 and continued at Washington State University and the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he completed a bachelors degree in 1969 and a master's in 1972.
Since 1970, Craig Smith has been artistic director of Emmanuel Music in Boston, and, from 1988 to 1991, was the Permanent Guest Conductor of the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. During his many years with Emmanuel Music, he conducted a Cantata of J.S. Bach each week as part of the Sunday worship service at Boston's Emmanuel Church. As artistic director of Emmanuel Music, Craig Smith presided over a popular and critically acclaimed concert series which has included the Passions, Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248), and B minor Mass (BWV 232) of J.S. Bach; Mozart and George Frideric Handel operas; major symphonic works; chamber series surveying the complete vocal, piano and chamber works of great composers (among them Schubert); and world premieres and commissions by composer John Haribson.
Craig Smith has collaborated with stage director Peter Sellars in opera productions presented in the USA at Pepsico Summerfare, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, the American Repertory Theatre, and the Opera Company of Boston. Their productions of the three Mozart/da Ponte operas, Cosi fan tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Don Giovanni were premiered at Pepsico Summerfare, later performed throughout the USA and Europe, filmed with the Vienna Symphony for European and American television, and later recorded on video compact disc for Decca Records. As principal guest conductor of the Monnaie Theatre, he collaborated with choreographer Mark Morris for two seasons, and has since toured with these productions to Boston, Minneapolis, New York City's Lincoln Center, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Holland, Israel, and New Zealand. He has conducted the Vienna Symphony, the Dresden Stattskapelle, the Northern Sinfonia, and the Hong Kong Philarmonic. Craig Smith made his Houston Grand Opera debut conducting G.F. Handel's Giulio Cesare directed by Nicholas Hytner.
Craig Smith's work with Emmanuel Music has been the subject of numerous radio and television specials including National Public Radio's Performance Today, and CBS Sunday Morning. With Emmanuel Music, on the Koch International label, he has recorded three highly acclaimed CD's of a capella music by Heinrich Schütz, and a recently completed CD which features works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Haribson who is closely associated with Emmanuel Music.
Craig Smith was on the faculty of Boston Conservatory from 1993 to 2000. He also taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, Juilliard and the Tanglewood Music Center.