Gabriella Smart

Gabriella Smart sitting behind a piano in a dark room.

#Pianist Gabriella Smart is a leading advocate of new music in Australia with sustained contribution over 25 years through performance, improvisation, collaborative composition, commissioning and curation.

Her expertise as an Australian representative artist has been recognised with numerous awards and grants. 

Most recently, she is the recipient of four prestigious awards in 2019: Art Music Award for Excellence in Music (Australian Performing Rights Association and Australian Music Centre), the Paris Residency and an Artist Grant from The Australia Council for the Arts, and a South Australian Government Creative Fellowship. In 2018, she was awarded a Prelude Composer Residency (Australia) and a UNESCO City of Music residency in Katowice, Poland. Previously, Gabriella has been the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship (2010), national Helpmann Award (2009), and Ruby Award for Best Event in South Australia in 2009. 

With a background as a multi-award winning pianist specialising in classical and new music, Gabriella has performed extensively in Australia and internationally, premiering over forty new works for solo piano by Australian and international composers in Australia, Europe and China, and collaborating with musicians as diverse as Brett Dean, Elena Kats Chernin, Erkki Veltheim, Jon Rose and Tamara Anna Cislowska. 

Gabriella’s performance of Alvin Curran’s solo for Cornelius was described as ‘meltingly beautiful’ and ‘mesmerising’ (The Australian). She has performed widely as a soloist throughout Australia, and internationally, promoting the works of Australian composers. Gabriella has performed in the Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide International Festivals, MONA MOFO, TURA (Perth) and in Europe and China (Forbidden Palace Beijing, Shanghai Conservatory, Lyceum Theatre Shanghai). In 2010, she represented Australia at the World Expo in Shanghai. Gabriella has given numerous live and recorded broadcasts for ABC Classic FM. 

As an improviser, she has collaborated and performed with such luminaries as Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance, Academy Award winner for film music: The Gladiator), Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes), Alvin Curran, Cat Hope, Derek Pascoe and Johannes Sistermanns as part of UnPiano Trio, and Paul Grabowsky. 

Gabriella has extensive experience and recognised expertise in curation and Artistic Direction. For 25 years, she has been Artistic Director of Soundstream New Music, Ensemble in Residence at the University of Adelaide (Adelaide, Australia), having curated four festivals and twenty concert series, and is the instigator of the Soundstream Emerging Composer Forum, the highest paying Australian Forum for the mentoring, recognition and commissioning of new chamber works in Australia by emerging composers.

Gabriella was awarded a PhD in Music from the University of Adelaide in 2018, with publications on new music, curation and Australian musical history. 

"Smart’s performance was mesmerising…"

The West Australian

"…a formidable executant, with apparently unstressable stainless steel wrists…"

The Advertiser

"…the fearless Gabriella Smart pounding, caressing and cajoling beautiful and extraordinary sounds from the piano…"

The Australian

#Past Events

Inner Cities
Past Event
20 Sept

Inner Cities

The Old Museum

Receive the latest Brisbane Festival news

Brisbane Festival expresses deep respect to and acknowledges the First People of this Country.