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Daniel Smith

Published October 13, 2021

Specialized Faculty
School of Dance

Contact & Social Media

Daniel Smith is an American composer, pianist, sound designer, and conductor best known for his collaborations with preeminent dance companies and choreographers. Recent highlights include his composition for piano and cello, Roses in December, which was premiered by Mr. Smith and composer/cellist Logan Castro in May 2019 at The Kennedy Center, Welliver Variation, which toured internationally as part of the Martha Graham Dance Company’s 2018 season, and the film score to SEALEGS (2019), a screendance that has screened at numerous iconic venues, such as the Cyprus International Film Festival, the Tipperary Dance Platform, and the Astoria Film Festival. He was the topic of a 2015 documentary directed by Dana Terres entitled The Music that Makes Them Dance. Smith’s work for the concert stage as well as electroacoustic media are performed widely, as highlighted by Metamorphoses 1-3, which was premiered at the 2011 Ringling International Arts Festival as well as Darkness (2013), which was commissioned by renowned pianist and multimedia artist Julian Toha for his world tour, Immersion. As a pianist, Smith performs a wide range of solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire and is a strong proponent of new music. He has performed premieres by the likes of Nico Muhly, Chris Brubeck, and Dorothy Hindman, and has performed with many notable musicians, such as Kristin Chenoweth (Emmy Award and Tony Award winner), The Manhattan Transfer (10-time Grammy Award winner), Sharon Isbin (multi-Grammy Award winner), and Mary Wilson of The Supremes. He was piano soloist for The Suzanne Farrell Ballet’s Final Season Opening Gala, performing Chaconne choreographed by George Balanchine and has been the Principal Pianist for Sinfonia Gulf Coast since 2007. Mr. Smith serves as a musician for dance technique classes, having accompanied more than 3,000 ballet and contemporary dance classes. He is the Director of Artists Seeking Transcendence, an organization dedicated to combining philosophy, science, and aesthetics and which hosts workshops and retreats for emerging creatives featuring internationally acclaimed artists, philosophers, and researchers. Mr. Smith is a 2018 recipient of the Reubin O’D. Askew Young Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed to young alumni by the FSU Alumni Association; the award recognizes outstanding accomplishments to the recipient’s profession, community, and alma mater. At the Florida State University School of Dance, Smith composes, performs, accompanies technique classes, and teaches courses pertaining to the intersection of music and dance.


  • Bachelor of Music Education, The Florida State University
  • Master of Music Education, The University of Florida

Research & Teaching  Areas of Interests & Expertise

  • Music/Dance Relationships
  • Screendance
  • Philosophy of Art
  • Music Composition
  • Piano Performance
  • Cross-disciplinary Art
  • Immersive Theatre
  • Philosophy of Art

Notable Accomplishments

  • The Unspoken, Composer, Immersive Theatre, Choreography by Ben Howard, 2020
  • Roses in December, Co-composer and Pianist, Performance at The Kennedy Center, 2019
  • SEALEGS, Film Score Composer, Directed by Sarah Wilcoxon, 2019
  • Welliver Variation, Music Director, Co-commissioned by Martha Graham Dance Company and Opening Nights, Choreography by Gwen Welliver, 2018
  • Chaconne, Solo Pianist, Suzanne Farrel Ballet Company, Choreography by George Balanchine, Music by Christoph Gluck, 2017