Meet the Pianist: Dan Franklin Smith

Dan Franklin Smith is a resident of New York City but performs in colleges, universities, museums and concert halls throughout the US and Europe. He has been described as “an incredibly sensitive player” and “a master pianist.” Accolades such as “breathtakingly beautiful,” “technical wizardry,” “brilliant technique and emotional fervor” appear in every review. An Aliso Viejo, California, headline proclaimed, “Classical Pianist Moves Audience to Tears.”

He graduated as a piano major from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and made his European recital debut in 1997 just outside of Stockholm, Sweden, where he received a standing ovation and rave reviews. The following year he made his European orchestral debut in Stockholm at Sofia Kyrkan and was later featured on Swedish TV. A debut recording with the Gävle Symfoniorkester soon followed, and not long afterward, a recording with the Stuttgart Philharmonic. These premier recordings received outstanding reviews and are broadcast on dozens of classical stations throughout the US.

As Music Director and recital soloist with the international festival, Elysium: Between Two Continents, he is showcased in performances here and in Europe. Major German newspapers praise his work for “stirring emotionalism, precision with keen intensity, the subtle hesitations and shifts that constitute great expression.” He has received high praise time and again from Munich’s Süddeutsche Zeitung as well as the Münchner Merkur, Coburger Tageblatt and Neue Presse.

Recent and future highlights include performances in Maryland, Georgia, Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, New York, Virginia, Florida, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin, Arizona, New Mexico, Canada, and California, where he played performances of Brahms’ First Piano Concerto and toured again in 2010. His European engagements have included Bernried, Dessau, Coswig, Wittenberg, and Leipzig in Germany, Oslo, Paris, London, including recitals at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and appearances in Sweden. In past summer seasons he performed in Berlin, Munich, Bernried, Coburg, Offenbach, Neuwied, Brussels, London, Zagreb, Warsaw, Lodz, and Kiev. In fall 2010 he appeared at the Bruckner Festival in Linz and the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

As chamber musician and vocal accompanist, he has performed at venues such as The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. — where he recently presented a solo recital and was immediately invited back for a return engagement in 2012 — the Cleveland Museum’s Distinguished Artist Series, and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City, as well as tours in Bermuda, Taiwan, and Puerto Rico.

He is the recipient of a Performing Artist Grant from the American-Scandinavian Foundation of New York City, which provided funds for him as piano soloist in an orchestral performance in Stockholm. He is a member of the Recording Society as well as the American Matthay Association, and frequently performs at their yearly conferences.