Head shot of Elijah Smith

Elijah Smith


2023 Fellow

Praised by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a “rising star,” composer Elijah Daniel Smith is quickly establishing himself as one of today’s leading young composers. His music, which has been described as “gnashing and relentless” (Chicago Tribune), and as “an ingenious study in clarity and distortion” (San Francisco Classical Voice), ranges from orchestral compositions to multimedia and interdisciplinary collaborations. Elijah’s affinity for dense and complex textures, rhythmic ambiguity and fluidity, and rich gravitational harmonies shines through in all of his creations. His music has been premiered and performed by world renowned ensembles such as The Chicago Symphony Orchestra for MusicNOW, the American Composers Orchestra, the New England Philharmonic, the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, Contemporaneous, Mivos Quartet, Bergamot Quartet, Sō Percussion, Sandbox Percussion, Yarn / Wire, ~Nois, DITHER, Copland House, Ensemble Linea, Ecce Ensemble, Fuse Quartet, the Lea Mattson Collective, and Earspace. Upcoming projects include new works for Lorelei Ensemble, and the American Composers Orchestra.

Elijah’s creative endeavors extend beyond the realm of traditional concert composition, including interdisciplinary work and commissions from multiple dance companies and choreographers throughout the United States. His ability to realize his own dynamic multimedia visions was cultivated by his experience as a recording, mixing, and mastering engineer for his own studio music, film scores and electro-acoustic music. In his 2019 multimedia project Come, Clarity, Elijah exercised his visual artistry as a filmmaker and photographer, creating the film as well as composing and producing the music himself.

Elijah is currently pursuing his PhD in Music Composition at Princeton University as a President’s Fellow after earning a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition from the Boston Conservatory in 2017, and a Master of Music degree in Music Composition from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in 2020. Elijah’s music is published by Project Schott New York.