Acclaimed as a violinist of “compelling presence, fearless attack, and technical aplomb and bravado” (New London’s The Day), Chelsea Starbuck Smith, 25, is a young artist becoming recognized for her infectious enthusiasm for the violin. She has performed as a solo and chamber artist in venues across the United States and abroad, including David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Citi Field, Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Palais de Fontainebleau in France, and Centre National des Arts in Ottawa.
Chelsea recently made solo appearances with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Southern Finger Lakes Orchestra in Corning, New York. Her solo debut in 2013 with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, was called a “show-stopper,” and she was described by music critic Milton Moore as “dominating the stage and electrifying her audience with her high-powered and knowing performance.”
As a chamber musician, Chelsea is at home with both classical and crossover styles. Recent collaborators include Debbie Harry & Blondie and The Knights Chamber Orchestra. She is also one-half of the crossover violin duo Les Deux, and has been hailed as “unarguably gifted with a keen ear for arranging” by the New York Examiner. In 2015 the duo dazzled Citi Field with their original arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a New York Mets game.
Beyond the concert stage, Chelsea can be seen in such television series as “Glee” and, perhaps most recognizably, as the featured violinist in the long-running NYU Langone national television commercial set in New York’s Grand Central Terminal. Other appearances include WMNR Fine Arts Radio and Connecticut Public Radio, and The String Fingers Band’s debut bluegrass album, Don’t Forget.
Chelsea just completed her studies at The Juilliard School, receiving a Master of Music degree under the tutelage of David Chan and Laurie Smukler, and graduating with the Norman Benzaquen Career Advancement Grant for “talent, promise, creativity, and potential to make a significant impact in the performing arts.” She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Juilliard, where she studied with Sally Thomas. A third-generation teacher, Chelsea is on the faculty at Temple Emanu-El’s Nursery School and has taught in the New York City public schools as a Morse Teaching Fellow. Chelsea’s debut album, Les Deux, featuring original arrangements, is available on iTunes and Spotify.