Joel Smirnoff


Kuopio Symphony Orchestra (Finland)


“The guest conductor Joel Smirnoff gave the musicians just the appropriate amount of space and took the lead in the more integral moments. The sound captured a good chamber music spirit in a larger scale. There was just the right amount of enthusiasm and passion in the air.”




Hartford Symphony


"... Smirnoff had a very distinct and particular conception of this work [Schubert Symphony No. 9]. His tempos were on the fast side during the first two movements to create momentum. He kept the spring coiled much of the the time, storing energy with quiet dynamic levels that did not diminish the inner fierceness of the music. In passages where the full impact of the orchestra was unleashed the impact felt ferocious. He made larger designs intelligible to the audience.





St. Paul Chamber Orchestra


“The orchestra responded with a fine Fifth of Schubert, highlighted by the flamboyant and energetic conducting of Smirnoff…it’s a nostalgic homage to Mozart, and Smirnoff impressively executed the balancing act of keeping a foot in each era.”




Basel Sinfonietta


“At the moment, the Basel Sinfonietta is at its best; Smirnoff has worked excellently with the musicians and was able to release a great deal of energy from the orchestra. This was proved […] above all after the intermission by Witold Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra (1954), which demanded the utmost skill from the orchestra, both from a technical point of view and from the ensemble of the players.”




Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra


“…[Joel Smirnoff] proved a gifted and sympathetic conductor, moving with balletic fluency and assuring an intimate relationship between the words and rhythms of the singers and the colors of the chamber orchestra.”




St. Paul Chamber Orchestra


“…there seemed a renewed spirit in [the] interpretation of the "Prague" Symphony on Thursday. Under the direction of Joel Smirnoff, the SPCO poured passion aplenty into a work that…bore a vibrant energy it seldom bears.”