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Meet Academy Alumna Arianna Smith

Meet Academy Alumna Arianna Smith

Arianna Smith, violin  |  Academy graduating class of 2010

Where are they now?  In celebration of the Academy's 10th year, MIC took time to catch up with alumni of the program.


Known for her captivating spirit and exceptional musicality, violist Arianna Smith has performed at such prestigious venues as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Symphony Center and Harris Theater in Chicago, and the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series Live from Preston Bradley Hall. She has also been invited as a young performing artist at such festivals as the Verbier Academy, the Perlman Music Program, the Kronberg Academy, Festival de la Vézère, and Les Rencontres Musicales de Saint Cézaire sur Siagne avec l’ensemble Calliopée. An avid chamber musician, she has given collaborative performances with world-renowned artists such as Steven Isserlis, Christian Tetzlaff, Mate Bekavac, the Ébene Quartet, James Galway, Arnold Steinhardt, Daniel Hope, Viviane Hagner, Rachel Barton Pine, and Paul Coletti. She has been featured on National Public Radio’s From the Top, WFMT’s Live from WFMT and Introductions, as well as KUSC’s Sundays Live Program from LACMA. She is now an artist in residence at L’academie de l’Opera de Paris as she continues her studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse de Paris with Jean Sulem. She received her bachelor of music degree in May 2014 from the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, California under the tutelage of Paul Coletti.

What was most beneficial about studying with Mr. and Mrs. Vamos and your time at the Academy?

Studying with Mr. and Mrs. Vamos was like being part of a dynasty, a family. The lessons of Sevcik or Schradeick have made me the player I am today, but the days passed in the house listening to other lessons or chatting over brownies or the noise of Mr. Vamos on the elliptical are the memories that will stay with me every time I touch my viola. They taught us so much more than how to play an instrument. They taught us to love and live through music and to share in the learning and everyday process that makes us into the people and performers we all are today. The community they created with their students is a testament to their mastery and devotion.

How do you think the Academy prepared you for conservatory training?

The Academy gave us endless opportunities to get out our nerves before releasing us into the real world: from the master classes, which brought to us some of the greatest minds of music, to the chamber music and orchestral opportunities, I remember at 16 feeling ready and excited to take on another journey.

What were some highlights during your time at the Academy?

My favorite part of the Academy was of course Fischoff. Performing there with more than half of the Academy supporting each other was the most inspiring experience of all my years at the Academy.

What is your current position? Do you have thoughts about where you see yourself in five years?

I am currently at the Opera National de Paris since September but I have some other plans for next year (maybe including a move to Germany). I don't feel ready to settle down yet and enjoy accepting projects such as playing the quintet of Fauré with Stephen Isserlis this April or playing Ravel's septet on Radio France in two weeks. I don’t have a clue where in five years this will lead me, but I’m excited to find out.


Read more Academy Alumni profiles here >>