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Paul Smith : Associate Artist

Random Audio Sample: Holding Masks (duos: 2 pianos) by Paul Smith, from the CD New Music for Multiple Keyboards


Photo of Paul Smith

Photo: Nicole Lee

Paul Smith is a senior lecturer in music at the University of New England where he teaches composition and music theory. He holds a Doctorate of Creative Arts from Western Sydney University where his research focused on music's connection with visual art forms. Paul embraces humour, satire and bright sonorities in his works.

He specialises in composing opera and is the co-artistic director for Sydney-based group Blush Opera. His operatic works have been permiered in Singapore, the US, Italy and at festivals across Australia. His largest operatic work was the two act satire Chop Chef developed with writer Julie Koh which examined the tropes of reality television cooking competitions. Many of Paul's compositions explore music's potential connection with other art forms and as a result his pieces are often accompanied by other works of art, including animation, theatre or poetry. He has collaborated frequently with artist Todd Fuller providing scores for Fuller's animated pieces, one of which was a finalist for the 2019 Sulman prize and exhibited at th Art Gallery of NSW.

Paul's insturmental work commonly focus on the toy piano and he has collaborated with Italian specialist performer Antonietta Loffredo on numerous projects. In 2019, Paul undertook a residency in Armenia developing and premiering new works for the toy piano. He has also written about the instrument for The Conversation.

Originally from the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Paul studied piano and classical voice while completing a Bachelor of music at Western Sydney University. In 2011, he was a young artist with Pacific Opera and began working with many Sydney ensembles as a singer before completing his doctorate in composition in 2014.

His published research explores music and Japanese visual culture and can be found in the volumes Manga-Vision (2016, Monash University Press) and Music's Immanent Future (2016, Ashgate Publishing).


Paul Smith — current to August 2021

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Bidding (chamber opera) Commissioned by Opera Elect.
To see the ocean for the first time : electroacoustic (2019) Commissioned by artist Todd Fuller
Billy's Swan : electroacoustic (2017) Commissioned by animator Todd Fuller
Digital sheet music sample The Spider Maiden and the Runaway Plum Blossom (chamber opera) (2016) This work was commissioned by Singapore-based Chamber.Sounds
Digital sheet music sample Fancy Me Dead : a chamber opera in one act (2015) Commissioned in part by the New Music Network