Duncan Smith

Duncan began playing piano in the Scottish idiom in 1980 as the founding pianist in Barbara McOwen's internationally known Scottish dance band "Tullochgorum". He has recorded four CDs of Scottish Country Dance Music -- Dancin' Music with fiddler Susan Worland in 1987, Kardinia Capers (2002) and The Southern Touch (2005) with David South and his Band, and Old Favourites and Odd Couples in 2004 with his current music partner Catherine Fraser.

Duncan Smith is a Melbourne-based pianist known as a performer and teacher of Scottish music and dance throughout Australia and New Zealand, and across North America. A multi-instrumentalist and singer, he has performed in a wide range of musical styles including medieval and renaissance acapella vocal music, baroque chamber music, rock and roll, jazz and bluegrass. Duncan studied piano with Gisele Krause, then trained as a harpsichordist with Helen Keaney at the New England Conservatory of Music, and with Robert Gronquist at Trinity College, where he was also a member of the Concert Choir. He has studied folk, jazz, and classical guitar and performed for three years in several folk, blues and rock bands as a rhythm guitarist/harmonica player and lead singer. For eight years he was a member of the traditional and early music vocal ensemble Northern Harmony, and has studied voice with Marleen Montgomery, David Gay, Marcy Lindheimer, and Ros Barnes.

Duncan began playing piano in the Scottish idiom in 1980 as the founding pianist in Barbara McOwen's internationally known Scottish dance band "Tullochgorum". He has recorded four CDs of Scottish Country Dance Music -- Dancin' Music with fiddler Susan Worland in 1987, Kardinia Capers (2002) and The Southern Touch (2005) with David South and his Band, and Old Favourites and Odd Couples in 2004 with his current music partner Catherine Fraser.

Since starting to work with fiddler Catherine Fraser in 2001, Duncan's focus has been on the development of a unique improvisational approach, fusing multiple musical styles to create a sensitive and imaginative backdrop for the rich and varied range of the Scottish fiddle repertoire. The concert repertoire he has developed with Catherine has enabled Duncan to stretch the boundaries of the idiom. As one reviewer wrote: "...Smith's piano is always inventive...It is a refreshingly different approach to piano accompaniment for this kind of music, where he follows the rules while bending them where appropriate." (Graham McDonald, Canberra Times). He has recorded two CDs in this style with Catherine Fraser – "Presence" in 2003 and "Unity" in 2006.

Duncan has taught Scottish accompaniment workshops at the National Folk Festival and the National Celtic Festival, and week-long residential courses at the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society New Zealand Summer School, and at the Southern Hemisphere International School of Scottish Fiddle, of which he is Co-Director. Also a life-long Scottish Country dancer, he has taught at dance classes, weekends and workshops in the USA, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia.

Duncan Smith appears on

Unity

Performer

Covers a wide ranging musical and emotional spectrum — from haunting Gaelic airs to foot stomping dance music, from chamber music to evocative original works.