Violist Caeli Smith was born in Philadelphia and made her debut as a soloist at age 10 with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony. She holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where she was a principal violist of the Juilliard Orchestra, and received the William Schuman Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music. She has collaborated with many distinguished musicians in chamber music settings, including Leon Fleisher, Ani Kavafian, Roger Tapping, and André Watts. In 2015, Caeli was a prizewinner of Juilliard’s Viola Concerto Competition and appeared as a soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall.
Caeli has performed at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and Verbier Festival Academy, and has served as a principal violist of the Verbier Festival Orchestra. She is a founding member and associate director of Frisson, a nine-piece touring chamber ensemble. Caeli is a member of the New York Classical Players and the Noree Chamber Soloists. She is on the faculty of the HeifetzPEG program and is a teaching artist with the New York Philharmonic. As a teenager, Caeli was a frequent performer and recurring cast member on NPR’s From the Top. Her print articles have appeared in Strings, Teen Strings, and Symphony. As part of her fellowship with Ensemble Connect, Caeli teaches at PS/IS 226 Alfred De B. Mason in Brooklyn.