Violist Yvonne Smith is an accomplished performer and teacher based in Houston, TX. She appears regularly in the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, Houston Ballet, and Grant Park Orchestra (Chicago). On baroque viola, Ms. Smith performs frequently with Bach Society Houston, Mercury Chamber Orchestra, La Follia Austin Baroque, Ars Lyrica Houston, and American Bach Soloists (San Francisco, CA). Her career was featured in the May 2017 issue of Early Music America’s EMAg in the article “Early to Rise”.

In 2016, Ms. Smith founded La Speranza, a period instrument ensemble that explores and illuminates the connection between music and wellness through their historically informed performances of wind and string chamber music in Houston communities. Now in their third year, the group gives 5-6 performances per season and performs regularly in hospitals and community centers in Houston. 

Ms. Smith maintains a small private studio through the Tallowood Academy of Fine Arts and Houston Youth Symphony, and frequently coaches middle school and high school viola sections in orchestra programs throughout the Greater Houston area. Her students have earned chairs in region orchestras and competed at the state level in Solo and Ensemble contests.

Born in Ames, Iowa, Ms. Smith began piano lessons with her mother at the age of three and began studying the viola at her elementary school in upstate New York at the age of 9. She earned her Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in Viola Performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University under the tutelage of Joan DerHovsepian and James Dunham. 


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