“In all respects her music for me is arresting, intriguing and very much her own.” – Peter Tanfield
R. E. Smith is an award winning Australian composer who specialises in collaborative media and concert works. She works primarily with orchestra and large ensembles of acoustic instruments (at times electronically manipulated and set alight with found sounds) and the human voice, exploiting its full spectrum of sound from speech to song. Most recently, her work has been internationally premiered in Japan and Singapore with the WA Youth Orchestra, Canada and the USA with Phoenix Ensemble, and nationally at Perth Concert Hall with Edith Cowan University, and the Western Australian Museum with Perth Symphony Orchestra. She has exhibited in masterclasses held by ensemble LOADBANG, ‘cellist Friedrich Gauwerky, and composers Dr Lewis Nielson (Oberlin College), and Dr Robert Cuckson (Curtis Institute, Mannes College: The New School). Her recent collaborative efforts have been presented at the Columbia University Film Festival, Philip K Dick Science Fiction Film Festival, and Savannah Film Festival (among others), and in a theatrical capacity at Schapiro Theatre, New York City. In an educational capacity, Smith is regularly engaged as an adjudicator and guest lecturer both nationally and internationally.
A Fulbright Scholar and recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Music New York (MSM), Smith earned her Masters of Music under the tutelage of Dr Marjorie Merryman, upon commencement winning the Nicolas Flagello Composition Award for most outstanding composer. The past three years has seen Rebecca awarded over $150,000 in merit-based scholarships, which were used to fund her Masters degree. In addition to a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship, these include the Deolus Husband Scholarship for Composition (MSM), Manhattan School of Music Composition Scholarship (MSM), Young People and the Arts International Scholarship from the Department of Culture and the Arts Australia, the Barbara MacLeod Scholarship from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Dr Harold Schenberg Music Prize from the University of Western Australia, and the Marvin Hamlisch scholarship in composition from the Juilliard School. Her choral works have been shortlisted for NYC based ensemble C4’s 2014 commissioning competition and Paula & David Tunley Awards. In 2015 she was named runner up for the APRA professional development awards, and shortlisted for the same award in 2013. Rebecca has worked in a compositional capacity with the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, WA Youth Orchestras, Australian Youth Orchestra, Perth Symphony Orchestra, and LiNK Dance Company, alongside many bands and contemporary new music ensembles in the USA and Australia. An active proponent of new music, she performs regularly as a violist within the contemporary and art music scene in Perth, Western Australia. Having recently completed large-scale commissions for the WA Academy of Performing Arts (Edith Cowan University) and the WA Youth Orchestra, Smith is currently penning works for violinist Madeleine Antoine, and experimental bass clarinettist Philip Everall, due for 2017 premieres.