Jenny Blake Chair
Born in Perth
Soloist since 2015
Photo: Israel Rivera
Described as ‘Incandescent... a masterly display of skill and insight... as an apologist for contemporary music-making, you would search hard to find this young clarinettist's equal’ (The Age), clarinettist Ashley William Smith is an internationally demanded clarinet soloist and chamber musician. Ashley is a laureate of several the Australian industry’s most prestigious prizes including the APRA Performance of the Year, the Music Council of Australia Freedman Fellowship, an ABC Symphony International Young Performer Award, and a Churchill Fellowship. Ashley has performed throughout Australia, the USA, Europe and Asia in performances with Bang on a Can, the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, the Kennedy Center, the Beijing Modern Music Festival, and IRCAM. As a soloist and director he has performed alongside several international and Australian orchestras. His performance of Lachlan Skipworth’s Clarinet Concerto with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra was awarded the APRA 2015 Performance of the Year.
Ashley is an Assistant Professor at the University of Western Australia where he is the Head of Winds and Contemporary Performance. A graduate of Yale University, the University of Western Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian National Academy of Music, Ashley was awarded the highest honours as the most outstanding performance graduate of each institution. Ashley is passionate about fitness and in 2019 competed in Melbourne as a national finalist in the Australian Allstar CrossFit Masters.