Isaac Raymond Smith (b. 1998) currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky, where he works as a freelance composer and the program coordinator for the Louisville Academy of Music. In May of 2022, he received his master’s degree in music composition from the University of Louisville, where he was the recipient of the Bomhard Fellowship from 2020-2022. In May of 2020, he graduated summa cum laude from the University of Northern Iowa with a BM in composition and theory and a minor in jazz studies. His private instructors have included Krzysztof Wołek, Steve Rouse, Nancy Hill Cobb, and Daniel Swilley, and he also studied privately with Harvey Sollberger.
Isaac’s music eschews traditional melody and harmony, but draws much inspiration from the ways composers through the ages have shaped drama and timing/form in their music. While currently interested in the extremes of perceivable soundscapes (both dense and saturated as well as subtle and almost inaudible), Isaac has also made use of theatrical elements, drastic changes in texture, and sometimes humor to play with listener expectations. Isaac subscribes to the notion that while music can never answer any questions, it is a powerful tool for asking new questions or calling attention to existing issues.
Isaac has written for solo, chamber, and large ensemble groups, as well as work with live electronics and fixed media. He was the winner of the 2020 National Federation of Music Clubs Marion Richter Award, the 2019 Iowa Composers Forum Student Composition Competition, and the 2019 UNI percussion student composers’ competition. He also placed third in the 2019 National Association of Composers/USA Composers’ Contest. Isaac’s music has been performed at the 2022 Midwest Music Research Collective’s Spring Conference, the 2019 Society of Composers’, Inc. Region VI Conference, and the 2019 International Tuba and Euphonium Conference. He was one of the selected composers for the 2022 Sō Percussion Summer Institute at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, and in 2019, he was accepted to the Atlantic Music Festival, held at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Isaac is a member of the Society of Composers, Incorporated; Broadcast Music, Incorporated; and the Iowa Composers Forum.
When not writing or listening to music, Isaac enjoys long distance running, exploring the outdoors, or spending time with his wife, Anya, and his two cats Lili and Nadia.