The principal cellist of the Houston Symphony and a faculty member of the Shepherd School of music at Rice University, Brinton Averil Smith, was praised by Gramophone as a "hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist," in his debut recording of Miklós Rózsa's Cello Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra while his recording of chamber music of Fauré with Gil Shaham was chosen by numerous critics as one of the year's best albums. 

Smith has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, Lynn Harrell, Sarah Chang, Dawn Upshaw and members of the Beaux Arts Trio and the Guarneri, Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Berg quartets. He was previously a member of the New York Philharmonic and the principal cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth symphonies and his performances have been broadcast throughout the world including, in the US, on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR's Performance Today and Symphonycast.

Smith completed a B.A. in mathematics at age 17 and received his masters and doctoral degrees from Juilliard, studying with cellist Zara Nelsova and writing on the playing of Emanuel Feuermann.