Linc Smelser

Cello Faculty
Program Area: 
Private Instruction
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

University of Arizona, B.M. in Cello Performance Northern Illinois University M.M. in Cello Performance and Pedagogy Northern Illinois University P.C. in Cello Performance and Pedagogy

Significant teachers and mentors: 

My two cello heroes are Dr. Gordon Epperson and Madame Raya Garbousova. Both taught and encouraged me to strive for excellence through positive reinforcement. They both allowed me to be my own individual musician rather than to impose their own technical and musical approach to cello playing.

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

Music is one of life's treasures. As players, it provides us the opportunity for self expression and emotional connection through our instrument. My philosophy as an instructor is to invite young musicians to experience music through encouragement and in a positive, nurturing atmosphere rather than one of fear or intimidation. Through this journey, the student must find their own voice and become their own teacher.

Awards and achievements: 

Twice appeared as soloist in recital on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series Recipient of the Lili Boulanger Memorial Award Fund, 1994 Awarded Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras, 2009

Professional affiliations & activities: 

Section Cellist of the Grant Park Symphony, 1992-present; Section Cellist substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1997-present; Principal Cellist of Camerata Chicago, 2007-present; Faculty Cellist with the NIU Community School of the Arts, 1988-present; Guest Lecturer of Cello at the Wheaton Conservatory of Music, 2005-2016; Conductor of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra, NIU Sinfonia and NIU Symphonette.

Interests outside of music: 

I enjoy running/jogging, bike riding, carpentry, gardening, playing tennis, ping pong, billiards, philately, reading and the occasional jigsaw puzzle.

Favorite quote: 

"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams." Willie Wonka

Favorite practice tip: 

Never practice by the clock...practice until you are done.

Favorite composer or piece to play: 

Johannes Brahms. Favorite piece is whatever I happen to be working on at the time.

Favorite musical moment: 

This is a toss up between attending a live performance of Mstislav Rostropovich playing the Sinfonia Concertante by Prokofiev - a truly magical electrifying performance, and attending a live performance of Paul McCartney at Wrigley Field, also a magical and impressionable evening. Both displayed such an unbelievable and infectious love and joy in what they were doing on stage.