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Yvonne Smith, viola

Yvonne Smith, viola

Based in Houston, Texas, Yvonne Smith is an accomplished performer on modern and historical violas. She appears in several performances each season with the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Bach Society Houston, Mercury Chamber Orchestra, Ars Lyrica Houston, La Follia Austin Baroque, 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”.

Yvonne is a dedicated chamber musician who performs in both modern and historical contexts, including a residency at the Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival (Cedar Falls, IA). In 2016, she founded La Speranza, a period instrument ensemble that brings historically informed performances of wind and string chamber music to Houston communities and explores the connection between music and wellness. Now in its third season, La Speranza made its Houston Early Music Festival debut in 2018 and has received grants from Houston Arts Alliance.

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, Yvonne 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. More information is available at