Brinton Averil Smith


Acclaim For Brinton Smith

Melodies poured from his instrument with singing beauty and liquid consistency.

… only one thing gave any sense of order to the evening: the extraordinary musicianship of the young performer… challenges were met and transcended. Brinton Smith's cello playing was forceful, sophisticated and entirely in the spirit of the music's rhetorical wandering…

New York Newsday

I cannot imagine a better stylistic match for (Gil) Shaham and Eguchi than cellist Brinton Smith. The way they play the unison passages between violin and cello and the close dialogs make it clear that these three are of the same musical mind.

American Record Guide

… Brinton Smith is the hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist… The sheer bravura of Smith's reading is infectious…


…[Smith] is perfectly suited to the elusive quality of the solo part… He plays with great conviction and character. In the expansive soundworld of the second movement, the cello sings out above broad washes of orchestral color, Smith imbuing its meandering line with bounteous expressivity. Disparate elements collide in the finale… Smith proving his virtuosity with the cello’s dizzying harmonics…

The Strad

Give cellist Brinton Smith melody and he'll shape it, tenderize it and make it sing. He's a romantic at heart, given to rhapsodic outpourings that reveal the tonal richness of his instrument… Robust playing, sweet-toned and lustrous.

San Diego Union-Tribune

Brinton Smith has established himself as a virtuoso cellist with few technical equals. He is also a proponent of old-school string playing such as that of Piatigorsky and Heifetz. He is not afraid to use expressive vibrato and an occasional portamento, or slide, to enhance a melodic line… The result was sheer magic with Smith’s burnished cello tone and exquisite Heifetz-styled shadings.

Texas Classical Review

Brinton Averil Smith’s cello solos were sweet and delicate and drop-dead beautiful…

The Dallas Morning News

an extraordinary cellist…

Strings Magazine

His legato playing was particularly impressive. Melodies poured from his instrument with singing beauty and liquid consistency. Regardless of tempo or the register of his instrument (high, medium or low), Smith played with great beauty and consistency.

Houston Chronicle

strongly projected…eloquent, grave monologue…

The New Yorker

Cellist Brinton Averil Smith was soloist for Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. This was the third performance of this masterpiece in area concerts this fall; Yo-Yo Ma…

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Breathtakingly beautiful performance…

San Diego Reader

He dominates the instrument, as Nelsova does, to be sure. More than that, however, he plays so smoothly that the sound is almost constantly beautiful, seldom rough, never strident… resulting in a flow of gorgeous, seemingly unending, beautifully resonant melody… He has style. His technique is flourishing and solid. Best of all, he manifests the grandeur of heart it takes to become a first-rank virtuoso

Arizona Daily Sun

Smith’s cello playing is heartrendingly beautiful…

Music Web International

…a well established soloist, which is obvious in his secure playing. Smith’s performance of the cello solos was spectacular…

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR)

…a gripping, full-blooded interpretation. The young American made the most of the works many dramatic shifts of mood, especially in the central Adagio…

The New Zealand Herald

…Smith displayed his exceptional musical gifts. Chief among them were an impassioned determination, a handsome tone and a zeal for accuracy… Smith maintained his high-intensity concentration. He played as if each trill trembled with imagination, and every melody exuded compositional genius.

San Diego Union-Tribune

Rozsa’s Toccata Capriciosa recalls the Kodaly Solo Cello Sonata in its fiery and rhapsodic character and its near-impossible technical challenges. Smith responded to the concise creation with almost superhuman athleticism and precision

The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)

…cellist Brinton Averil Smith played with virtuosity, intensity and rich timbre in the lead role. The warm expressiveness of his playing clearly conveyed Quixote's grace and gallantry, particularly in his touching rendition of "Quixote's Farewell to the World"…

Houston Chronicle

…extremely challenging solo writing that Smith tosses off with mastery and abandon…

The Arizona Republic

…here is a splendid, passionate soloist. Intonation is faultless and, in many places, his tone easily recalls that of Piatigorsky. …Brinton Averil Smith (gives) a glorious performance that recalls Heifetz… I predict (and hope) that we shall be hearing a lot more of Mr Averil Smith.

Bob Stevenson - Music Web International

Brinton Averil Smith has all the goods: virtuosity, brains, musicality, and what I want to call songfulness. A singerly quality. In his hands, the cello is as much a voice as a stringed instrument

Jay Nordlinger - The New Criterion

Brinton Averil Smith played with technical ease, solid intonation, masterful and varied bow-strokes, well-chosen fingerings and shifts (at times in a now-dated style, suited to the program offered), and, throughout this recital, an astute musicality. It is impossible to dismiss such a program of salon pieces when they are played with such intelligent artistry. Evelyn Chen was equally sensitive at the keyboard; the two make a formidable recital pair. I learned much from this performance and will continue reflecting on and digesting what I heard for many months to come.

Cashman Kerr Prince - Boston Musical Intelligencer

Smith ravishingly exploits the full sound of the cello… Brinton Averil Smith interprets the pieces wonderfully, subtle to the last echo of the notes, perfectly accompanied by Evelyn Chen at the piano. The final piece, Rossini's famous Figaro aria, appears all the more dashing. Smith bravely, and with a sure style, crystalizes out the basic sounds with Chen effortlessly imitating all the voice ranges of this Figaro-portrait and transferring it with whirlwind rhythm into the Opera buffaÌ› atmosphere.

Brinton Smith has toured the world with his cello, and been hailed by international critics as one of the foremost virtuoso interpreters. In the penultimate concert of the first season of the Symphony Orchestra of the University of Guanajuato (OSUG), the public in the Teatro Juárez was astonished at the beautiful string playing by the guest soloist. The work he played, Variations on a Rococo Theme, op. 33 by Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky, proved him to be one of the best interpreters of cello music in the world, immersed in the spirit of the music and expressing a genuine passion for the work of the renowned Russian composer.
Brinton Smith captivated the audience, exhibiting the expressive possibilities of the cello. The interpretative complexity of the work showed the dexterity of the soloist subordinated to the interpretation as if it were the last concert of his life.

In Brinton Averil Smith, Castelnuovo-Tedesco has found a worthy exponent: his is a cast iron technique of verve and refinement put entirely at the service of the music and the sort of dead-pan panache that recalls Janos Starker… The artistry on display here is breathtaking…

Helen Wallace - BBC Music Magazine

Although the cello concert is not a premiere, the live performance by Smith and the Houston orchestra under Kazuki Yamada leave nothing to be desired. The rest of the CD is a real surprise for both cellists and music lovers. Smith is a cello virtuoso who manages his instrument with a smile that is contagious. We would almost forget pianist Evelyn Chen who is an impeccable partner. Brinton Averil Smith is a solo cellist of the Houston Symphony Orchestra in daily life. A musician to cherish.

Siebe Riedstra -

Smith is a cellist with notable accuracy in
intonation and comparable virtuosity in his
bowing. He plays this demanding but musically
enjoyable piece to great effect in a concert
performance with the Houston Symphony

D. Moore - American Record Guide

Smith’ cello playing is heartrendingly beautiful

Colin Clarke - Music Web International

The concerto imposes exceeding technical demands on the player, while containing passages of great lyricism and sumptuous solo lines. Smith fully expresses the beauty of the piece's broad melodies and the furor of its rapid scale, arpeggio and double-stop work with unquestionable authority… the rediscovery of the work, and this magnificent performance, deserve the highest regard and therefore our [five star] ranking - Jordi Caturla González