Megan Shung Smith is currently the Suzuki violin/viola program director at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music and the Communications Chair of the Suzuki Music Association of California – Los Angeles Branch. She has taught and performed at several summer institutes including the LA Suzuki Institute and Advanced Suzuki Institute at Stanford with a specialty in teaching improvisation to young string players.
An active performer and studio musician in the Los Angeles area, Megan is currently the electric 5-string violinist for Iridas, an electro-chamber ensemble, whose goal is to create and encourage more meaningful hybridization of modern classical music and populist music. She also performs regularly as the concertmaster of the Lake Avenue Chamber Orchestra in Pasadena. In addition, She is adept at non-traditional performance practices and styles including jazz, rock, pop, and experimental music. She has performed with many artists including Kimbra, John Debney, Mark Isham, Watsky, Clipping, Sudan Archives, Avi Friedlander and collaborates regularly with many other composers in the LA area.
Megan graduated with a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music with academic honors, studying under David Updegraff, and also received her long-term Suzuki training with Kimberly Meier-Sims. Upon graduation, she continued her studies with Paul Kantor in Houston, TX. Past mentors include Richard Schwabe and Henry Gronnier at the Colburn School of Performing Arts. Megan’s honors include the Dr. Jerome D. Gross Prize in Violin from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the International House of Blues Foundation Ambassador Scholarship.
As an educator, Megan’s primary mission is to create for her students a strong technical foundation with roots in various styles and ideologies. Her hope is to cultivate not only solid performers but also empowered and informed listeners to encourage creativity and experimentation beyond the boundaries of ordinary musicianship.