Jenny Blake Chair
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 has performed as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout Australia, USA Europe and Asia. He is a laureate of several the 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. He is recognised by the world's leading clarinet manufacturer as a Buffet-Crampon Artist. Ashley is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia where he is the Head of Winds and Contemporary Performance.
As a soloist and director he has performed alongside several international and Australian orchestras. Most notably, 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 the clarinettist of the Southern Cross Soloists and performs at internationally leading chamber music festivals with ensembles including the Calder, Dover, and Australian string quartets.
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. Outside of music Ashley is a fitness enthusiast and enjoys CrossFit, long distance running, handstands and swimming. In 2019, he competed in Melbourne as a national finalist in the Allstar CrossFit Masters.