In addition to his work on stage, Mr. Smolen is active in the Hollywood scoring industry and has recorded with many esteemed film composers including John Williams, Danny Elfman, Alan Silvestri, and Randy Newman. He can be heard on projects such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, X-Men: Apocalypse, The BFG, Ghostbusters, Mozart in the Jungle, Monsters University, Night at the Museum, and on Neil Young's latest album, Storytone.
Mr. Smolen has given recitals around the world, including performances as a featured guest at the Japan Flute Festival and the National Flute Association’s annual convention. He won First Prize at the Haynes International Flute Competition and James Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition and Second Prize at the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition and National Flute Association Young Artist Competition. His flute and guitar ensemble Duo Musagete, with guitarist Jerome Mouffe, has performed highly acclaimed concerts in the United States and Europe, and they recently released their debut album, Bach to Beaser.
Mr. Smolen has been a guest teaching artist at many esteemed educational institutions. Recent engagements include classes and performances at Chapman University, California State University, Long Beach, California State University, Fullerton, San Diego State University, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of California at Irvine, the Symphony Guild of Charlotte, the Long Beach Summer Flute Institute, and Jim Walker's Beyond the Masterclass.
Mr. Smolen completed his undergraduate studies in the Music and Slavic departments at Princeton University, during which time he also completed a Performance Diploma at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He earned a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance at the New England Conservatory and pursued additional studies at the University of Michigan and twice as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. His teachers include Paula Robison, Michael Parloff, Elizabeth Rowe, Jennifer Dior, Jayn Rosenfeld, and Amy Porter.
He is a William S. Haynes Artist and performs on a handmade, custom-crafted Haynes 14-karat gold flute.