Allegra Gabriella Smith is a prolific young composer from the San Francisco Bay area who started composing on her own at the age of 8. When she was 11, she began studying composition with pianist and composer Arkadi Serper of the Crowden School in Berkeley. She is now studying composition with David Ludwig at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Before beginning her studies at Curtis, she studied with composer Yiorgos Vassiladonakis and had several lessons with composer John Adams.
Her first orchestra piece, Dances of the Isuan Interval, was performed by Kent Nagano, George Thomson, and the Berkeley Symphony in an Under Construction concert in December 2006. Her Somniballare for cello, piano, and percussion was selected by San Francisco new music group the ADORNO Ensemble for their ScoreXchange program in the 2008-2009 season.
In the last two years, Smith was named a winner in the 2009 ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composer Competition, received the First Place Prize in the 2009 Pacific Musical Society Composition Competition, and received Honorable Mention two years in a row (2009 and 2010) in the New York Art Ensemble's Young Composer Competition. In June 2009, she received a commission from the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra and music director Benjamin Simon for a new piece to be performed in June 2010. During the summer of 2009, she took part in the Young Artists Program at the Yellow Barn Music School and Festival, where she studied with composer Stephen Coxe and guest composers Christopher Theofanidis and Melinda Wagner.
During the summer of 2010, she will again be taking part in the Young Artists Program at the Yellow Barn Music School and Festival. Smith also received a commission from Monadnock Music to write a new song in collaboration with poets from the MacDowell Colony for the summer 2010 Monadnock Music Festival in New Hampshire, where she will be a composer-in-residence. She will also be attending the Aspen Music Festival and the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival.
When she is not making music, Smith enjoys backpacking, Scottish dancing, volunteering as a bird bander and nest searcher at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, scuba diving in the beautiful kelp forests of the Channel Islands, and studying science, math, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.
Smith is a member of the American Composers Forum, the Society of Composers Incorporated, the National Association of Composers/USA, and ASCAP.