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Gary Smart

Professor, Piano/Composition/Improvisation 

Gary Smart headshot

 

Contact: (904) 620-3856 

Email: gsmart@unf.eduWebsite

 

Dr. Gary Smart's career has encompassed a wide range of activities as composer, classical and jazz pianist, and teacher. Always a musician with varied interests, he may be the only pianist to have studied with Yale scholar/keyboardist Ralph Kirkpatrick, the great Cuban virtuoso Jorge Bolet, and the master jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. A true American pluralist, Dr. Smart composes and improvises a music that reflects an abiding interest in Americana, jazz, and world musics, as well as the Western classical tradition.


Dr. Smart’s work has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Music Educator's National Conference, the Music Teacher's National Association, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Dr. Smart’s music has been performed in major venues in the U.S., including the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as venues in Europe and Asia. His "Concordia" for orchestra won the "Concordia Jazz Composition Award" and was premiered at Lincoln Center, New York.

Dr. Smart’s "Song of the Holy Ground" for string quartet and piano won the "2008 John Donald Robb Musical Trust Composers’ Competition" and was premiered at the 2009 Robb Composers’ Symposium at the University of New Mexico. His compositions are published by Margun Music (G. Schirmer) and his work has been recorded on the Mastersound, Capstone and Albany labels. Several of his CDs have been released recently by Albany Records: "The Major’s Letter," songs for voice and piano, "American Beauty – a ragtime bouquet," "Hot Sonatas," third stream duo sonatas, "Turtle Dreams of Flight," third stream piano music, and “Blossoms”, a group of abstract, unedited solo piano improvisations which critics have praised as “truly a delightful concoction” and “protean music...utterly unique...defies categorization”. 

Dr. Smart has spent two residencies in Japan, teaching in programs at Osaka University and Kobe College. He has also taught in Indonesia as "Distinguished Lecturer in Jazz" under the auspices of the Fulbright program. From 1999-2003, he served as Chairman of the UNF Music Department (now the UNF School of Music).

Dr. Smart is currently a "Presidential Professor of Music at the University of North Florida.