River Edis-Smith

River Edis-Smith is a multi-disciplinary musician who is musically curious and polyglot. His recent studies in MMus Music at the University of Surrey and his work as an educator (through classroom teaching, workshops, and private tuition) have led to professional engagements as a violin player, conductor, composer, and teacher. Originally from Manchester, River relocated to Sheffield in September 2022 where he has expertly engaged with musicians across many backgrounds and genres. As a creator of leading new and exciting collaborative opportunities for musicians - River is a firm advocate of widening everyone’s musical circle through musical knowledge, developing performance skills and encouraging network opportunities between artists.

River’s approach to conducting has been shaped by experiences performing as a violinist in ensembles such as the Hallé Youth Orchestra and Amadeus Orchestra. In his tenures as a conductor, he encouraged further engagements with local communities – collaborating with schools and charities to promote music education for all through newly founded initiatives.

River is the current Director of Music with Sheffield Youth Orchestra. Since taking on the position, he has produced a popular series of one day community orchestral projects – bringing together musicians from all ages and backgrounds in Sheffield. They attract 100+ musicians whilst still being free and accessible for all.

He has collaborated and depped with local organisations within Classical Sheffield such as; Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra, Sheffield Symphony Orchestra, Hallam Choral Society, Stannington Mixed Choir, Waldershelf Singers and Vivacity Choir. In January 2023, he creatively forged an international collaboration in Manchester with Sheffield Youth Orchestra and the Scotch College Australian Youth Orchestra.

River is a frequent participant in various conducting courses across the UK – learning from leading practitioners and passing on their expertise to the musicians he works with. This includes RNCM (Short Course for Music Educators), London Musical Arts and Cardiff International Academy Conducting Courses.

Alongside his conducting positions, River is an accomplished composer whose music connects with diverse contemporary idioms such as multimedia installations, algorithmic compositions and mixed ensemble chamber music. His first recorded EP 'Harp' was a culmination of his Masters in Music, awarded and published in November 2022.

As an avid Ableton user, he enjoys exploring electronic music and infusing this into re-compositions from one of his biggest musical influences, Arvo Pärt. Equally, his interest in data sonification has led to creating audio-visual works that are inspired by mathematics and science.

The musical universe to which he composes within is broad, and this results in eclectic music that is stimulating and accessible to all.

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