Stefan L. Smith (he/him) was born in Joliet, IL. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2008, Stefan studied at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music on a full tuition scholarship for a Masters Degree in Viola Performance with Professor Donald McInnes. His two Bachelors of Music degrees are in Viola Performance and Music Composition, from DePaul University’s School of Music in Chicago.
In LA, Stefan has written music for concert halls, film, TV, video games, r&b, pop, EDM, as well as maintaining an extensive professional symphonic performance career. He has served as a principal (and/or acting principal) violist with the: Hollywood Studio Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, New West Symphony Orchestra, Riverside Philharmonic, Henry Mancini Institute Symphony & Chamber Orchestras, DePaul Symphony Orchestra, Oistrach Chamber Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago (the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), and various others. Smith is also a sought after on-screen musician, where he can be seen on projects such as the 93rd Academy Awards, Modern Family, The West Wing, NBC’s The Voice, Glee, 90210, American Music Awards, and the BET Awards to name a few. In 2013, Stefan was appointed to the Viola Section of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, where he is now a tenured member.
Smith is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2021 ASCAP David Rose Award for Film Scoring and the National Award of Merit at the National Fine Arts Festival of 2000. In 2013, Stefan was invited to the UC Berkeley Young Musicians Program Faculty, where he taught Violin, Viola, and Music Composition. He is also a sponsored artist with the following companies:
- William Harris Lee Performing Artist (performs on a 2003 Bronek Cison Viola)
- Former Maestro Foundation Performing Artist
- Coda Bow International Performing Artist
- Remic Microphones Performing and Recording Artist
Smith was commissioned to write a symphonic work for the Chicago Sinfonietta, which premiered at Orchestra Hall in October of 2019. In 2022, Smith was commissioned by the Colburn School to compose a concert work for the principal bassoonist of the Atlanta Symphony, Andrew Brady. Stefan is also an Artistic Director for Fever Up‘s “Candlelight” chamber series in Los Angeles as well as the Artistic Director of the Metropolis Chamber Musicians.