"One of those very special artists who has been given a wonderful mind coupled with an organic, kinesthetic musical understanding..."
Ms. Smithorn recently created The Listening Lab, an orchestral concert series that teaches audiences listening skills based in research in music cognition. Described as "interesting and ingenious," that program received full funding from the Peabody Conservatory Dean's Office and was later selected for the Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab.
As Education Conductor of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, she brings The Listening Lab to students throughout the Baltimore area, gives popular pre-concert talks, and recently stepped in for Music Director Markand Thakar to conduct Bernstein's Serenade after Plato's "Symposium" on a BCO subscription concert.
Drawn to bold musical visions, Rebecca worked with composer Pauline Oliveros and artist Anthony Martin to reconstruct their Light Piece for David Tudor for piano, 4-channel tape, and light installation and performed the work for the first time since its premiere in 1965.
She later founded Ensemble 4-33, an ensemble dedicated to experimental and avant-garde works from mid-century to present-day, including pieces by Earle Brown, John Cage, Joanna Bailie, Bill Drummond, and Pauline Oliveros. In 2018, she will curate and conduct an all-Yoko Ono concert with Ensemble 4-33, including Sky Piece to Jesus Christ and Grapefruit in the World of Park.
Ms. Smithorn has recently been selected as a finalist for fellowships with the New World Symphony, the Chautauqua Institute, and the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, and she was nominated for the Conductor's Guild Thelma A. Robinson Award for promising young conductors. She will serve as an assistant conductor with the Chicago Summer Opera in 2018, where she will conduct a production of Handel's Rinaldo.
She was the founder and conductor of Ad Hoc, an award-winning chamber ensemble which was nominated as a "Maverick Classical Music Ensemble" on ArtsJournal's Sandow. As a pianist, Ms. Smithorn has given solo, chamber, and lecture performances at the Steinway Recital Hall of St. Louis, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, the Diastole Scholars Center, the Brevard Music Festival, and the Eastman School of Music, among others.
A first-generation college graduate, Rebecca is passionate about making education accessible to all students. She currently teaches at the Peaslee Neighborhood Center, which provides low-cost lessons for students in underserved communities, and The New School Montessori. She has served as a teaching artist in musicianship with MyCincinnati and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids, two El-Sistema-inspired music education programs.
Ms. Smithorn completed graduate studies in orchestral conducting at the Peabody Conservatory, where she studied with Marin Alsop and Markand Thakar.