Musical Director

River Edis-Smith

River Edis-Smith is a multi-disciplinary musician who is musically curious and polyglot. His recent studies in MMus Music at the University of Surrey and his work as an educator (through classroom teaching, workshops, and private tuition) have led to professional engagements as a violin player, conductor, composer, and teacher.

Originally from Manchester, River relocated to Sheffield in September 2022 where he has expertly engaged with musicians across many backgrounds and genres. As a creator of leading new and exciting collaborative opportunities for musicians - River is a firm advocate of widening everyone’s musical circle through musical knowledge, developing performance skills and encouraging network opportunities between artists.

River’s approach to conducting has been shaped by experiences performing as a violinist in ensembles such as the HallĂ© Youth Orchestra and Amadeus Orchestra. In his tenures as a conductor, he encouraged further engagements with local communities – collaborating with schools and charities to promote music education for all through newly founded initiatives.

River is the current Director of Music with Sheffield Youth Orchestra. Since taking on the position, he has produced a popular series of one day community orchestral projects – bringing together musicians from all ages and backgrounds in Sheffield. They attract 100+ musicians whilst still being free and accessible for all.

Alongside his conducting positions, River is an accomplished composer whose music connects with diverse contemporary idioms such as multimedia installations, algorithmic compositions and mixed ensemble chamber music.

Beyond the baton and his violin, River is a secondary school maths teacher at Silverdale School where his students know him as ‘The Mathmusician’. He is a well-established educator of 8 years where he has taught in classrooms, workshops, orchestras, and private teaching.
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