Martin Smith was an Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and a scholarship winner at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied violin and conducting. He began his career as a member of the Duke String Quartet, appearing with them throughout Britain and Europe, and has also appeared with the Allegri and Bridge Quartets and with the Primavera Ensemble. He currently leads the Cirrus String Quartet, with whom he recently released two recordings of works by unknown English composers.
Martin works with many of the country’s foremost chamber orchestras, such as the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the English Chamber Orchestra; he has been a member of the London Mozart Players for many years, and is currently one of the Directors of the orchestra. He also leads Orchestra Nova and has appeared as guest leader with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra, Brunel Ensemble and London Concertante. With Orchestra Nova he has led many premières and première recordings of music by British composers. He has made solo appearances around the UK and in France, Germany, Holland and the United States, many as leader of the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, which he led and directed for over ten years.
Success in concerts for the London Mozart Players and the London Soloists’ Chamber Orchestra prompted Martin to resume his conducting career. He has conducted the LMP on a number of occasions, and has led orchestral workshops for them and for the European String Teachers’ Association. He has been Artistic Director of Enfield Chamber Orchestra since 2008, and of The Richmond Orchestra since 2016, and is in increasing demand as a guest conductor.
Martin has worked with non-professional and young musicians throughout his professional career, and particularly enjoys working with string players. Having struggled for many years himself with both performance anxiety and technique, he derives huge satisfaction from helping people conquer the issues he strove for so long to address. For fifteen years he taught at the Mary Ward Centre, whose past music staff included Gustav Holst, and currently works at the Ealing Junior Music School teaching violin and ensemble playing. He has led a number of amateur orchestras over the years, in addition to those he conducts, and has given workshops on the Himalayas of the string orchestra repertoire, directed from the violin.
Martin has appeared with Winchmore String Orchestra on several previous occasions as a soloist, and is delighted to be joining them as both conductor and violinist.