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The Mind Over Finger Podcast

May 18, 2021

This summer on the Mind Over Finger Podcast, I promise you a fantastic time with wonderful guests! Every month I'm having a live Q&A with amazing musicians in my Facebook group, the Mind Over Finger Tribe and, as to be expected, much wisdom is being shared!

We start with pianist Konstantin Soukhovetski, we continue in May with violinist Callum Smart, in June you'll hear from trumpet player Christopher Still from Honesty Pill, July will bring violinist Esther Abrami, and we’ll spend time with guitarist Brandon Jack Acker in August.

I hope you can join us live for the upcoming sessions. All of the details are in the Mind Over Finger Tribe at  

If you're enjoying today's content, take a screenshot as you're listening, share on social and tag me and my guest so we can thank you for tuning in!



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“…the sincerity of Smart’s singing line is cause for celebration, and the recital is quite outstanding in its unique sequence and profile of a superb young player.”
Andrew Parker, International Record Review

Callum Smart is quickly developing an international reputation as one of Britain’s finest young violinists. Playing with ‘an inherent nobility that speaks to the heart’ (International Record Review), he is celebrated for combining ‘brilliant technique with the confidence to take risks’ (Bachtrack) and his ‘utterly convincing’ interpretations (BBC Music Magazine).

Recognised as a rising star since winning the BBC Young Musician strings category and being the top European prize-winner at the Menuhin Competition in 2010, Smart now enjoys concert appearances with the UK’s leading orchestras, including re-invitations to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra. In 2020-21, Callum makes his debut with the Hallé Orchestra performing Korngold’s Violin Concerto, and also a Boston debut with the Lexington Symphony Orchestra performing Elgar’s Violin Concerto.

Last season, he made his debut with the BBC Philharmonic performing Berg’s Violin Concerto, and this season sees his return to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and debut with the Manchester Camerata. Previous season highlights include his North American debut with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as performances with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, European Union Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus Sinfonia and Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, covering a range of concerto repertoire from Mozart and Beethoven to Glazunov, Britten, Prokofiev, Elgar, Weill, and Korngold.

As a recitalist, Smart performs at some of the world’s most prestigious venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, the Konzerthaus Berlin and the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, and at a number of European festivals including the Cheltenham Festival, Dvorak Festival in Prague, Menuhin Festival, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Malmo International String Festival. Smart’s partnership with Richard Uttley continues this season with recitals across the UK; they are also joined by horn player Ben Goldscheider for a series of concerts as The Ashwell Trio.

Continuing his advocacy for new music, Smart worked with composer George Benjamin to perform his Three Pieces for solo violin at both the Wigmore Hall and the Royal Northern College of Music. He also performed Kaija Saariaho’s Nocturne for solo violin at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

Now with two recital discs to his name, 2016 saw the release of Smart’s second disc on the Orchid Classics Label with pianist Richard Uttley. ‘La Voix’ – including works by Fauré, Poulenc and Ravel – featured as one of the Strad Magazine’s recommended recordings of the month, and was accorded 4 star reviews both in the BBC Music Magazine and the Observer.

Having returned to the UK following his Premier Young Artist scholarship at the Jacobs School of Music in the United States studying with Mauricio Fuks, Smart took up a place on the International Artist Diploma postgraduate course at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) studying with Ana Chumachenco and Noah Bendix-Bagley. Having made an immediate impact on his return, he was subsequently appointed as a violin tutor at the RNCM.

Smart plays on a c.1730-35 violin by Carlo Bergonzi and is a Hattori Foundation Award Winner 2019.


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A HUGE thank you to my fantastic producer, Bella Kelly, who works really hard to make this podcast as pleasant to listen to as possible for you.

Most sincere thank you to composer Jim Stephenson who graciously provided the show’s musical theme.  Concerto #1 for Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra – Movement 2: Allegro con Brio, performed by Jeffrey Work, trumpet, and the Lake Forest Symphony, conducted by Jim Stephenson.

Thank you to Susan Blackwell for the introduction.  You can find out more about Susan, her fantastic podcast The Spark File, and her work helping creatives of all backgrounds expand their impact by visiting