Austin Smith will be joining us this year as a member of our oboe section! Currently based in Cincinnati, Austin is principal oboe of Queen City Opera and second oboist with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra. He plays regularly with orchestras throughout the Midwest such as the Louisville Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. As an active chamber musician Austin performs regularly with his wind quintet, the Wayside Winds, throughout the Cincinnati area on recital series at the Taft Art Museum, Salon 21, and the Price Hill Creative Community Festival among many others. Continue reading below to learn more about Austin!
When was your first encounter with music?
My dad always had the classical music radio station on in the car when I was growing up.
When/How did you start playing your instrument?
I started playing oboe when I was 12 in 6th grade band. In elementary school there were pictures of all the different orchestra instruments on the walls of our school music room and the woodwind instruments were my favorite ones to look at, so when it came time to pick an instrument for school band I naturally gravitated towards the woodwinds. I chose the oboe because I thought it would be the most unique.
When did you decide you wanted to make music your career?
I always wanted to be a classical musician (among other things) when I was growing up, even before I started playing an instrument. I think I really started getting serious about it in early high school.
What is your favorite memory of a performance?
A favorite recent memory was being able to play a sold out show with the band Iron & Wine. I’ve listened to and admired this band even before I took oboe seriously. The crowd was wild and unruly (at least compared to a classical music concert!) and I loved every second of it.
What do you like to do outside of music?
Canoeing and hiking are always a favorite and video/board games when I have time. I’ve also been making oboe reeds professionally the past 10 years for Innoledy, a woodwind supply company based in NYC.