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People  •  Music  •  Associate Professor

Ronald Smith

Ronald Bruce Smith is a composer whose works incorporate both acoustic instruments and electronics. Many of his works share a contemplative character, a preoccupation with enhancing the resonance of a given ensemble, and an openness to new sound sources.

Smith’s music has been described as “fresh and lustrous” (The New York Times); “seductive and unique” (Ottawa Citizen); “filling in silences blank canvas with the delicacy of an impressionist’s brush” (Vancouver Sun); “wonderfully evocative”; and “intriguing, lovely and seductive” (San Francisco Chronicle); “a highly charged sonic space, fresh and enigmatic” (Los Angeles Times); “sophisticated and ambitious – fascinating and satisfying” (San Francisco Classical Voice); and as “showing a remarkable sensitivity to tone colors” (Toronto Globe and Mail).

He has received commissions funded by the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, the Manhattan School of Music, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and CNMAT, University of California, Berkeley. Performers of his works include guitarist David Tanenbaum, pianist Vicki Chow, clarinetist Laura Carmichael, the Arraymusic Ensemble, California E.A.R. Unit, Cikada, Columbia Sinfonietta, Continuum Ensemble (Toronto), Del Sol String Quartet, Earplay, New Music Concerts Ensemble (Toronto), Pierrot Ensemble, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Vancouver New Music Ensemble, Verge Ensemble, Xanthos Ensemble, the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He has been a featured composer at Other Minds 12 in San Francisco, the Festival of the Sound, Open Ears and the Banff Festival of the Arts.

Continuum, Arraymusic, the Del Sol String Quartet, Stenberg/Zimmermann Duo, Laura Carmichael and the Evergreen Club Gamelan have recorded his music to CDs on Other Minds Records, Karnatic Labs Records and Artifact Music.




  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Research Focus

  • Music composition
  • Computer Music
  • Interactive Computer Music

Courses Taught

  • MUST 2431 Computer Music Fundamentals
  • MUST 4520 Interactive Real Time Performance.
  • MUST 4610 Composition for Electronic Instruments.
  • MUST 4620 Music Technology Capstone/Recital.
  • MUST 2450 Special Topics in Music Composition and Technology
  • MUST 2315 History of Electronic Music.
  • MUSC 3550 Special Topics in Music History.
  • MUSC 1250 Instrumentation and Orchestration.
  • MUSC 1202 Music Theory 2.