photo: Marilyn Smart

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, Smart composes and improvises music that reflects an abiding interest in Americana, jazz, and world music, as well as the Western classical tradition.

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. Smart’s music has been performed in major venues in the United States, 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 premiered at Lincoln Center, New York.

Smart’s compositions are published by Margun Music (G. Schirmer) and his work has been recorded on the Mastersound, Capstone, and Albany labels. Smart’s latest CD, Blossoms (2012), which features 25 solo piano improvisations received a rave review from Fanfare Magazine. Critic Radu Leliutu called Smart’s musical ability “protean, utterly unique” and praised his “astonishing facility and ebullience.”

Smart has spent two residencies in Japan, teaching in programs at Osaka University and Kobe College. He has also taught in Indonesia as a “Distinguished Lecturer” under the auspices of the Fulbright program. Smart is currently a Presidential Professor of Music at the University of North Florida.


Columbian Harmony

Release Date: October 13, 2023
Catalog Number: NV6565
21st Century
Multi-genre composer Gary Smart explores a wide range of styles and transforms them into his own musical language on COLUMBIAN HARMONY. His soundscapes are sweeping, billowing meadows, often vast in their ambition and scope. At times richly textured, at times sparse, almost threadbare, Smart’s carefully designed works meander between grand rhapsody and heart rending simplicity. There is enough familiarity in this music to keep the listener anchored, but the element of surprise reigns supreme.

Quadrants Vol 3

Release Date: July 12, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6239
21st Century
String Quartet
The works of the eight composers on QUADRANTS 3 display both the broad scope of styles and energies that the string quartet can produce, while also highlighting the individual talents of each artist. The resident ensemble for QUADRANTS 3, Altius Quartet, who take their name from the Olympic motto: Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger), handles each piece with skill and flair.