University Art Museum
Well/Being: An Exhibition on Healing and Repair
August 4 - December 11, 2021
Artists, Installation Views, Public Programs, About

Emily Daggett Smith

A woman in a red dress playing violin next to a bay of windows
Emily Daggett Smith, Amid a Place of Stone (still), 2020, performed at the University Art Museum, University at Albany, May 2021, video, 10:25; color, sound, courtesy of the artist [image description: A woman in a red dress playing violin next to a bay of windows. ]

Repetition has provided artists some solace and structure during the pandemic. For her commissioned project, Emily Daggett Smith presents a recorded performance of Andrea Casarrubios’s Amid a Place of Stone (2020) for solo violin. Casarrubios composed this work in New York in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in her words, “… [T]he violin embodies solitude and isolation … [A] recurring musical cell keeps appearing throughout the work, as a way to remind us of the repetitiveness of the everyday routine during the pandemic … [The piece] traverses a range of phases within the subjects of isolation, vulnerability, and survival.” Casarrubios’s piece alternates between passages of repetition—which borrow from the musical form called passacaglia—and moments of melodic outburst that sound improvisational, yearning to be free, but remain tethered to the melodic theme of the work.

At the pandemic’s height, Smith was part of a quartet that offered concerts to one person at a time in New York City, and she also live-streamed solo violin concerts from her apartment. In the course of Well/Being Smith will offer a series of intimate performances in the Museum to provide solace to audiences and build community. The program will include Amid a Place of Stone and three additional pieces: Jessie Montgomery’s Rhapsody No. 1 (2014), Kaija Saariaho’s Nocturne (1995), and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Ciaccona from the Partita No. 2 in D minor (1718­­–20).

Emily Daggett Smith

Born in 1987 in Boston, Massachusetts. Lives and works in Hudson, New York.

Smith performs as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, with performances across the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. Smith made her New York concerto debut as a soloist at age 21 in Alice Tully Hall, playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra and conductor Emmanuel Villaume. Since then she has performed concerti with many orchestras including Iris Orchestra, Festival Mozaic Orchestra, the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Classical Players. Smith is also a member of The Knights Chamber Orchestra. She has performed solo recitals across the country at venues including the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, Music in the Loft in Chicago, and Washington Performing Arts’s “Music in the Country.”

Selected awards and scholarships include winning the Juilliard Concerto Competition, the SYLFF Fellowship, the Brockton, Newton, and Waltham Symphony Concerto Competitions, and the Gold Medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in the junior division.

Smith received a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from The Juilliard School in New York, New York in 2009 and 2011. She received a Doctor of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York in 2018.