Ellen Dinwiddie Smith

Autobiography

Minnesota Orchestra

Photo credit: Joel Larson

Minnesota Orchestra

Minnesota Orchestra

Ellen Dinwiddie Smith has been a member of the Minnesota Orchestra since 1993 and currently serves as third horn. She contributes to Twin Cities musical life as the creator of a chamber music series, guest soloist, chamber music performer and private instructor. Smith is an artist-teacher on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music Summerfest Young Artist Summer Program. Recently, she was a substitute musician with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Kennedy Center Orchestra and was substitute principal horn with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and among others. 

Smith developed the Colonial Chamber Series, launched in 2006, and organized the Musicians for Tsunami Relief benefit concert, both held at Colonial Church in Edina. She has performed with the Lakes Chamber Music Society in Alexandria, Minnesota, and the Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival. She collaborated on the Dale Warland Singers’ CD Britten, Bernstein, et al., as a soloist in Aharon Harlap’s Bat Yiftach (Jephthah’s Daughter).

Smith was a featured artist at the 2014 MidSouth Horn Workshop in Austin, Texas, and the 2003 International Horn Society Workshop at Indiana University. She performed with her Minnesota Orchestra horn section colleagues in fall of 2015 at the MidNorth Horn Workshop at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. She has served on the faculty of Curtis Summerfest (Curtis Institute of Music), the Sewanee Summer Music Festival (2014) and Kendall Betts Horn Camp. Smith currently teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music Young Artist Summerfest program. As a guest soloist, she has appeared with the National Repertory Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, Kenwood Symphony Orchestra and Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra.

Smith is a 1987 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Myron Bloom and was a member of the Curtis Wind Quintet, which won a top prize in the Fischoff Chamber Music competition. Prior to studies at Curtis, Smith attended the Juilliard School and the University of Texas at Austin. Her teachers included Wayne Barrington, Greg Hustis and Michael Hatfield. She was named third horn of the Charleston (South Carolina) Symphony Orchestra while still a student at Curtis and joined the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as co-principal horn. She has performed at the Spoleto, Waterloo, Chautauqua, Keystone, Colorado Philharmonic and Aspen summer music festivals.

Smith, who maintains an active teaching studio in the Twin Cities, is adjunct professor of horn at Bethel and Augsburg Colleges. She serves on the board of the Twin Cities Horn Club and is a brass sectional leader for the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies.