Benjamin Smith, cello
Benjamin Smith (cello), 17, is currently a senior at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Missouri. Born in Canada, Benjamin began playing cello at the age of five at the Omaha Conservatory of Music, studying with Tim Strang. In 2018 he moved to Columbia MO, where he now studies with Maestro Kirk Trevor and Dr. Henry Myers. He was a 2021 winner of the Odyssey Concerto Competition as well as a two-time recipient of the Missouri Academy of Music Summer Scholarship. Receiving the Summer Scholarship gave Benjamin the opportunity to study at summer festivals such as the Brevard Music Center, Hilton Head Chamber Music Institute, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival, where he studied with world-class musicians such as David Ying, Alistair MacRae, and Felix Wang. He has performed in solo master classes for cellists such as Jun Seo, Karen Becker, David Kim, Alan Richardson, Jennifer Culp, Mike Block, Amit Peled, and Paul Katz, as well as chamber masterclasses with the Aeolus and Calder Quartets. Benjamin has played with the Missouri Symphony and is a member of the Missouri Symphony Conservatory orchestras and chamber groups. He is a student at the newly formed Missouri Academy of Music, and has also had the opportunity to play in the Missouri All-state Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Benjamin has been a member of the Reseda Quartet throughout high school and has frequently performed in both formal recitals and outreach concerts throughout the community.
Receiving the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award will allow Benjamin to purchase a new cello and bow that will carry him through college and into the professional field.