Dr. Curtis Ryan Smith began his piano studies with concert pianist Louise Barfield. He received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), his Masters of Music at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and his Doctorate of Musical Arts from CCM. His teachers have included James Tocco, Edmund Battersby, and Elisabeth Pridonoff. He has also received additional training from Harvey Wedeen, Norman Krieger, and Michael Coonrod.
In addition to performing, Dr. Smith is an enthusiastic teacher. He currently serves an Adjunct Professor of Music at both Randolph College and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and also runs a private studio out of his home. He has served as an Associate Instructor of Secondary Piano during his time Indiana University and as a Graduate Assistant in Secondary Piano while at CCM, where he taught both group piano classes and private piano lessons.
In 2013, Dr. Smith was invited to perform the Beethoven First Piano Concerto in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Matinée Musicale in Cincinnati. He was also invited to perform a solo recital as the season finale of the 100th-anniversary celebration of the Morning Music Club of Macon, Georgia. In addition to the standard repertoire, he is also an enthusiastic champion of lesser-known works, featuring composers such as William Grant Still, Benjamin Britten, and most notably, the piano works of his namesake composer, the late pianist-composer Curtis Curtis-Smith. Dr. Smith is also an active chamber musician, collaborative pianist, and concerto soloist. He is married to concert pianist Dr. Woori Kim Smith, with whom he performs in the piano duo Les Quatre Mains.