Skip to main content

Rob Smith

Professor of Composition

Division Head of Composition

Director, AURA Contemporary Ensemble

Rob Smith (Composition, Division Head) is a composer and director of the AURA Contemporary Ensemble. His highly energetic and vibrant music is frequently performed throughout the United States and abroad, and has received numerous awards, including those from the Aaron Copland House (Residency Award), Minneapolis Pops Orchestra New Orchestral Repertoire Project, ASCAP and the National Band Association. Commissions have come from the Texas Music Festival Orchestra, the American Composers Forum, the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program, and a number of nationally renowned university wind ensembles, among many others. A wide variety of ensembles have performed his music, including the Ethel and Enso string quartets, American Modern Ensemble, New World Symphony Percussion Consort, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Soli Chamber Ensemble, Standing Wave Chamber Ensemble (Canada) and the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra. Commercial recordings of his music are available by the Society for New Music (Syracuse, NY), Rutgers University Wind Ensemble, saxophonist Jeremy Justeson, Austrian toy pianist Isabel Ettenauer, and the University of Houston and Texas Christian University Percussion Ensembles. Boosey & Hawkes, Carl Fischer, Southern Music, C-Alan Publications, and Skitter Music Publications publish his music. In 1997, he was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant to Australia, which led to a teaching position at the University of Wollongong in 1998. During his tenure at UH he has been formally recognized twice: in 2013 (Outstanding Faculty Award, Moores School of Music) and 2014 (UH Faculty Recognition Award, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences). From 2003-2014 he served as one of the artistic directors of Musiqa, a Houston-based contemporary chamber ensemble. In addition to programming and presenting 6-8 concerts a season, Rob also created three children's programs with his colleagues at Musiqa, two of which continue to be presented annually for hundreds of public school students.