Born and raised in rural Alabama, pianist Cahill Smith began playing at age 10. Six years later, he made his orchestral debut with a local orchestra. Cahill has since been featured as a concerto soloist with the National Ukranian Symphony Orchestra, the Eastman Philharmonia, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, and the Samford University Orchestra. He has performed in venues such as Kodak Hall, Kilbourn Hall and Hatch Halls at the Eastman School of Music, the Aspen Music Festival’s Harris Hall, Stamps Auditorium and the Britton Recital Hall in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall, and Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Center.
Cahill has won prizes in competitions that include the Eastman Concerto Competition, the Music Teachers National Association Competition, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, the Lois Pickard Concerto Competition, and the International Institute for Young Musicians’ Piano Competition. He has been featured frequently in public master classes with renowned pianists that include Joseph Kalichstein, William Wolfram, Jerome Lowenthal, Julian Martin, Ann Schein, and Claude Frank.
Cahill’s fondness of programming works of little-known Russian composer, Nikolai Medtner, has attracted the attention of audiences and critics: “The unexpected gems of the afternoon were two of Nikolai Medtner’s Vergessene Weisen (‘Forgotten Melodies’), played by Cahill Smith. I was not familiar with these works, but in Mr. Smith’s hands they were absolutely endearing.” –East Hampton Star. Cahill’s repertoire now includes over twenty compositions by the composer. This coming October, Cahill will make his Carnegie Hall debut with an all-Medtner program in Weill Recital Hall. He has also been invited to Yale University to give a lecture on Medtner in the Spring of 2013.
A versatile performer, Cahill is the recipient of several prizes and scholarships for trumpet. He is also pursuing a project to compose period-authentic cadenzas and eingänge for Mozart’s Piano Concertos, some of which he has premiered in concert with professional orchestras. In theater, he has been cast as a contracted actor in productions at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the sixth-largest Shakespeare festival in the world, with over 300,000 annual visitors.
Committed to sharing music with the next generation, Cahill has held three graduate teaching assistantships at the Eastman School of Music, where he was awarded the 2011-2012 Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Cahill also maintains a private studio with students ranging from age 8 to 60. He has also been featured in educational outreach concerts with the Montgomery Symphony and Alabama Symphony Orchestras, performing for over 60,000 elementary and high-school students.
Cahill is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts as the assistant to Natalya Antonova at the Eastman School of Music. He was recently inducted into the honor society Phi Kappa Lambda for his academic achievements and contributions to the musical community. He completed his Master’s degree at the University of Michigan with Arthur Greene, and his Bachelor’s at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he studied with concert pianist and Van Cliburn-laureate Yakov Kasman. Other influential teachers include Ann Schein, the late Betty Sue Shepherd, Ronald Shinn, and Margaret Moore.
Highlights for the upcoming 2013-2014 season include two recitals at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in New York: an all-Medtner program in October 2013, and with violinist Geoffrey Herd in March 2014. Cahill will also perform a chamber music recital in December 2013 at Calderwood Hall in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.