Dr Paul Smith

Senior Lecturer in Music - Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Paul Smith


Paul is a composer based in Sydney who specialises in writing opera and music for theatre. In 2016, his second chamber opera, The Spider and the Runaway Plum Blossom, was premiered in Singapore by the group Chamber Sounds. During 2018, Paul will workshop a new opera called Chop Chef, written in collaboration with writer Julie Koh, which satirises reality tv food competitions. He also specialises in works for the toy piano with recent recordings and performances in Italy by Italian specialist Antonietta Loffredo. Paul is coartistic director of Sydney-based Blush Opera and an associate artist represented by the Australian Music Centre.


Doctorate of Creative Arts (DCA), BMus(Hons)

Teaching Areas

Music Theory, Composition, Musicology

Research Interests

Paul's research interests relate to areas of composition practice, the voice, and music's potential relationship with other art media including animation, literature, film, and theatre. His writing is an example of practice-related research and is framed by the concepts of ekphrasis and artistic representation. His doctoral thesis explored music, composition, and the aesthetic forms of Japan, specifically anime and manga.

Research Supervision Experience

Music Composition; Classical Music Performance; Music Theatre; Practice-related Research; Popular Music; Voice Studies


Smith, Paul. 2018. ‘The Cloud of Musical Knowledge: Towards a Critical Music Theory Pedagogy’. In Carol Johnson & Virginia Christy Lamothe (Eds.), Pedagogy Development for Teaching Online Music. Pennsylvania: IGI Global.

Smith, Paul. 2016. 'Manga, Music and Ekphrasis' In Cathy Sell & Sarah Parfield-Neofitou (Eds.), Manga-Vision. Melbourne: Monash University Press.

Smith, Paul. 2016. 'Kawaii Aesthetics and the Exchange between Anime and Music' In Sally Macarthur, Jennifer Shaw & Judy Lochhead (Eds.), Music's Immanemnt Future. Ashgate Publishing.

Smith, Paul. 2010. 'Translating Gender from Anime to Music'. Online Global Media Journal, Australian Edition. 4(2).

Creative Works:


Chop Chef: The Opera (Workshop) – Chamber opera developed with funding from New Music Network, Southlands Breakthrough Award and Inner West City Council Arts Grant


Vote Toll – Interactive work for piano and bells premiered at Customs House ‘Late Night Library’, Sydney

Billy’s Swan – Electroacoustic score for animation exhibited at Mayspace Gallery, Sydney

Holding Masks – Duet for piano & toy piano performed as part of Associazione Carducci concert series, Como, Italy


Spider Maiden and the Runaway Plum Blossom – Chamber opera commissioned by Chamber.Sounds, Singapore

Frankenstein – Score for theatre work produced by The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith

Clutter – Piano duo recorded for Multiple Keyboards (CD)


Fancy Me Dead – Chamber Opera produced by Blush Opera and funded by New Music Network


The Death of Baldr – Sextet commissioned by Sirius Ensemble


Iceberg Variations – Solo for toy piano recorded by Antonietta Lofreddo for Antarctica (CD)​


Loffredo, Antonietta. (2014) 'Iceberg Variations' by Paul Smith on Antarctia: New Music for Toy Piano and/or Piano.(CD). Wollongong: Wirripang.

Loffredo, Antonietta. (2011) 'Ponyo' and 'Mokona' by Paul Smith on Childhood in Music (CD). Wollongong: Wirripang.


Smith, Paul. (2014) 'Iceberg Variations for Toy Piano'. In Antarctia: New Music for Toy Piano and/or Piano. Wollongong: Wirripang

Clinical Skills and Experience