Known for emotional intensity and expressive clarity, the music of American composer Elijah Daniel Smith traverses a multitude of genres and mediums. From orchestral compositions to multimedia and interdisciplinary collaborations, Elijah’s affinity for dense and complex textures, rich and gravitational harmonies, and rhythmic ambiguity and fluidity shines through. After receiving his first orchestral commission from the West Suburban Symphony of Chicago at only age 20, the orchestra has become one of Elijah’s favorite mediums. Two of his pieces, Variegation and Playground Games, were performed by the Boston Conservatory Composer’s Orchestra in 2015 and 2017. In 2017, he was chosen by The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra for the Young Composers Initiative for his piece On an Obsession. His recent orchestral composition, Nubium, was read by the Peabody Modern Orchestra in 2018.
Elijah’s chamber music has garnered attention from internationally acclaimed ensembles. In 2019, The Mivos Quartet premiered his first string quartet, Brutal and Grotesque, in Valencia, Spain. Also in 2019, Ensemble Linea premiered Breath of Night in Auvillar, France, and the piece was subsequently programmed by the Ecce ensemble for their residency at Avaloch Farm in NH. In 2020, Elijah was commissioned by the award winning Fuse Quartet to compose a brand new work for saxophone quartet. Also in 2020, Elijah’s percussion quartet Shifting Ground was selected for the Sō Percussion Summer Institute (SōSi).
With interdisciplinary work that includes commissions from multiple dance companies and choreographers throughout the United States, his creative endeavors extend beyond the realm of just concert composition. His ability to realize his own multimedia creative visions is made possible by his experience as a recording, mixing, and mastering engineer for his own studio music, film scores and electro-acoustic music. In his 2019 multimedia project Come, Clarity, Elijah exercised his visual creativity as a filmmaker and photographer, creating the film himself as well as composing and producing the music himself.
Elijah earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition from the Boston Conservatory in 2017, and a Master of Music degree in Music Composition from the Peabody Conservatory in 2020. Elijah is currently pursuing his PhD in Music Composition at Princeton University as a President’s Fellow.