Ellen Dinwiddie Smith has been a member of the Minnesota Orchestra since 1993 and currently is third horn. Smith is an active orchestral and chamber musician and has taught generations of horn students. She is an active clinician and enjoys helping young people achieve their goals.
Smith previously served as Young-Artist-Program faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music Summerfest for 5 summers. She was the founding Artistic Director of the Colonial Chamber Series and organized the Musicians for Tsunami Relief benefit concert (2005) and Community Emergency Service Benefit Concert (2012), both held at Meetinghouse Church (formerly known as Colonial Church in Edina). In 2014, she was a featured artist at the Mid-South Horn Workshop in Austin, Texas, and also performed with her colleagues at the Mid-North Horn Workshop at the University of St. Thomas. She was a featured artist at the 2003 International Horn Society Workshop at Indiana University. Smith has served as an artist-teacher on the faculty of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and has spent many summers on the faculty of the Kendall Betts Horn Camp in Littleton, New Hampshire. She has performed and toured with the Cleveland Orchestra, and as a guest with the Kennedy Center Orchestra and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra.
As a soloist, she has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra and Mississippi Valley Symphony Orchestra. Smith has performed with the Lakes Chamber Music Society in Alexandria, Minnesota and the Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival and collaborated with the Dale Warland Singers in performance and on their CD Britten, Bernstein, et al., as a soloist in Aharon Harlap’s Bat Yiftach (Jephthah’s Daughter). She serves on the board of the Twin Cities Horn Club, is a brass sectional leader for the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies and is a lifetime member of the International Horn Society. Smith is a former adjunct faculty member at Bethel University and Augsburg College.
Smith is a 1987 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Myron Bloom and was a member of the Curtis Wind Quintet, a top prize winner in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Prior to studies at Curtis, Smith attended the Juilliard School and the University of Texas at Austin. Her teachers include Wayne Barrington, Greg Hustis, and Michael Hatfield. While still a student at Curtis, she was named third horn of the Charleston (South Carolina) Symphony Orchestra and later joined the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as the co-principal horn. She has performed at the Spoleto USA, Waterloo, Chautauqua, Colorado Philharmonic, National Repertory Orchestra and Aspen summer music festivals.
Smith is a certified PADI (scuba) Divemaster and enjoys underwater photography.