Fenwick Smith

Fenwick Smith I joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as second flutist in 1978, and played my final concert as a member of the Orchestra on August 27, 2006. During that time I spent five years as acting assistant principal flute of the BSO, and first flute of the Boston Pops Orchestra. But I have always been interested in all kinds of classical music. Before joining the BSO I was a member of the New England Woodwind Quintet; I have performed on Baroque flute with Boston’s leading early-music ensembles, and for thirteen years was a member of the contemporary-music ensemble Boston Musica Viva. I’ve been a member of the Boston Chamber Music Society since 1984. My interest in bringing unusual and little-known flute music to a broader public has resulted in premiere recordings of works by Copland, Foote, Gaubert, Ginastera, Koechlin, Dahl, Harbison, Cage, Pinkham, Schulhoff, Schuller, Schoenberg, Rorem, and Reinecke.

In 1972 I graduated from the Eastman School of Music, where I was among the last students of the great American flutist Joseph Mariano. I was also strongly influenced by my colleague Doriot Anthony Dwyer, and by my friend James Galway, whom I came to know while I was living in West Berlin. As a faculty member of the New England Conservatory, where I am studio teacher and chamber music coach, I aspire to follow in their footsteps. In 2001 I was the recipient of NEC’s Laurence Lesser Award for Excellence in Teaching. I was Visiting Professor of Flute at the University of Michigan School of Music for the academic year 1997-98, and have presented masterclasses in China, Japan, Europe, and across the United States.

I worked for 12 years for Verne Q. Powell Flutes, Inc., and play a Powell flute that I built. Although I gave up flute making when I joined the BSO, my interest in working with my hands later found a very different outlet: I designed a solar-tempered post-and-beam house which I built during the summer seasons in the woods of Richmond, six miles from Tanglewood. A book by George Ehrenhaft entitled The Builder’s Secret describes the experiences of ten individuals who built their own houses. The chapter about me and my house is called Adagio in recognition of my profession, but especially because the project, started in 1982, is not yet complete – although the house has been comfortably functional since 1988. (Owner-built houses are never finished!

Fenwick performed with A Far Cry as flute soloist in the following concerts:

29 October 2007 – University Lutheran Church (Cambridge, MA) 30 October 2007 – St. Paul’s Church (Brookline, MA)