American cellist Brinton Averil Smith has been the principal cellist of the Houston Symphony since 2005, and is also a faculty member of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the Aspen Music Festival. He was previously a member of the New York Philharmonic and the principal cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth symphonies. Mr. Smith was hailed for “extraordinary musicianship” by Newsday and “stunningly beautiful” performances by the American Record Guide. His debut recording of Miklós Rózsa’s Cello Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra won international critical acclaim, with Gramophone praising Smith as a “hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist,” while his recording of chamber music of Fauré with Gil Shaham was chosen by numerous critics as one of the year's best albums. His upcoming recording of the Castelnuovo-Tedesco Cello Concerto will be released by Naxos this Spring. Mr. Smith has collaborated in chamber music performances with Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, Lynn Harrell, Emanuel Ax, Sarah Chang, and Dawn Upshaw and his performances have been broadcast throughout the world including, in the US, on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR's Performance Today and Symphonycast. His live performances on youtube have been viewed nearly a million times, including over two hundred and fifty thousand views of a live performance of Paganini's 24th Caprice. At age 10, Mr. Smith was admitted part-time to Arizona State University, studying mathematics, music and German, and he completed a B.A. in mathematics at age 17. He received his masters and doctoral degrees from Juilliard, studying with renown cellist Zara Nelsova and writing on the playing of Emanuel Feuermann.