Neil T. Smith

Job title:

Teaching Fellow in Creative Musicianship and Musicology


I am a composer and researcher from Edinburgh.

As a composer, I write primarily acoustic music for a wide variety of forces. I have worked with a number of the UK's and Germany's leading ensembles, including the WDR Sinfonie Orchester, Schlagquartett Köln, Red Note ensemble, the LPO, and the RSNO. 

As a researcher, I worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music (MCICM) 2018-2022, researching the role of concert halls within contemporary society.

Before this, I taught at Christ Church Canterbury University and the University of Nottingham, where I completed my AHRC-funded PhD on German composer Mathias Spahlinger, supervised by Prof Robert Adlington. 

My interest in German music was sparked by my Masters studies with Caspar Johannes Walter at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart.

Previous studies were at the University of York, and with Tom David Wilson at St Mary's Music School and the RSAMD Junior Academy.


I teach composition skills, twentieth-century music, creative musicianship and orchestration.


My research focuses on contemporary music culture and composition. My book on German composer Mathias Spahlinger was published in 2020 by Intellect, while further research on the composer has appeared in the journals TEMPO, Contemporary Music Review, and Music & Letters.

My most recent research has focused on exploring the role of concert halls within the city. Two articles have recently appeared in Cultural Sociology and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association; while two chapters in edited collections are also forthcoming, including a co-authored chapter on ‘Music and Buildings’ for the Routledge Companion to Applied Musicology.

On the composition side, my work Aphelion was selected to be part of the Scottish submission to the ISCM this year (and was then selected by the international jury), while a CD that includes my solo clarinet work, Strange Machines, was recently released through Dark Inventions and reviewed by Roger Heaton in TEMPO last year.

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