Stuart Saunders Smith is an American composer and percussionist. He was born in Portland Maine, and began his percussion and composition studies at the age of six with Charles Newcomb. He studied harmony, counterpoint, and arranging at the Berklee School of Music in 1966, and continued his percussion and composition studies at the Hartt College of Music (1967–1972) and the University of Illinois at Urbana (1973–1977). He currently resides in the state of Vermont with his wife Sylvia. Over a hundred of Smith’s nearly 200 works are for percussion instruments with a special emphasis on vibraphone literature. His Links Series of Vibraphone Essays (1974-1994) is considered as groundbreaking music (Welsh). Also Plenty (I-XXXIV) and New England are concert length compositions for vibraphone that extend the intellectual and emotional range of that instrument (Smith). Smith also has composed extensively for drumset, orchestra bells, xylophone, marimba, chimes, and multi-percussion.
Stuart Saunders Smith’s percussion-theater music forms the core of that literature with such pieces as Poems I II III, …And Points North, Tunnels, Clay Singing and twenty-six compositions of that genre (Smith). Stuart Saunders Smith is widely recorded with well over 80 recordings of individual compositions on such labels as New World Records, Ravello Records, Centaur, Innova, 11 West Records, O.O. Discs, Equilibrium, GAC, and Soundset Recordings.