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“Musically, the work here is exceptional. Jordan Li-Smith plays the piano and conducts proceedings with a ferocity, an impassioned clarity, that reminds one of Leonard Bernstein. ” 

 

— Live Theatre UK, on the acclaimed 2016 actor-musician off-west end production of 'Ragtime'

About

Jordan Li-Smith is an award-winning musical director, conductor, writer and composer/lyricist. He made his West End debut conducting the Donmar Warehouse revival of City of Angels. His musical direction has been hailed as “impeccable” (The Stage), and once been described that he conducts “with a ferocity, an impassioned clarity, that reminds one of Leonard Bernstein” (Live Theatre UK).

 

He currently music supervises the development of the hit cult musical, Starry, based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh. His next project will be music directing the new musical, Berlusconi, at Southwark Playhouse in March 2023. 

 

Off-West End, he received Off-West End awards for his musical direction of Ragtime (Charing Cross) and Michael John LaChuisa’s Queen of the Mist (Jack Studio/Charing Cross), and also music directed and/or supervised The Lion, Dave Malloy’s Preludes, Through The Mill (Southwark Playhouse), the UK premiere of Amour (Charing Cross, +orchestrations), Kirsten Childs’ The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Anything Goes, Some Lovers (The Other Palace), Spring Awakening (Stockwell Playhouse). He is a guest conductor of the London Musical Theatre Orchestra. His musical direction can be heard on the Original London Cast Recording of Queen of the Mist, which he conducted.

 

Regionally, he received a BroadwayWorld UK Award for the new British musical The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (Theatr Clwyd), and other credits include Chess (Leicester Curve), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Manchester Cathedral), One Man Two Guvnors (Bolton Octagon/UK Tour). He is an in-demand music director for many of the leading drama colleges of the UK, productions including A Little Night Music, Les Misérables (Mountview), Merrily We Roll Along (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Arts Ed), Amour, Next to Normal (Royal Academy of Music), Bring It On (Bird College), Sweet Charity (Urdang), The Addams Family (Chichester University), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Guildford School of Acting), Grand Hotel and Once On This Island (Momentum Performing Arts Academy).

 

Recently, he was Children’s Casting Musical Director for the motion picture, Rocketman, in which he also starred with a featured cameo.

 

He'll be making his debut as a writer and composer in August 2023 with his new musical, The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair, based on the novel by Lara Williamson. His song ‘Better Day’ was featured as part of On Hope: A Digital Song Cycle. It was subsequently chosen as a winner of The Drama League’s Anthems for the Future of Theater competition, and was performed by Broadway star Bonnie Milligan in Light the Lights! A Drama League Celebration in New York, in honour of Broadway actor Wayne Brady.

 

Jordan is an accomplished cabaret pianist and performer, making his own debut with his cabaret Songs I Wish I Had Written at Bishopsgate Institute. He has created and accompanied cabarets for Keith Ramsey in Miss ShowBusiness: 100 Years of Judy Garland at Phoenix Arts Club, as well as Lucy Penrose in Judy and I and fashion designer Malan Breton in Me and My Shadow at Crazy Coqs.

 

Jordan studied at the Royal Academy of Music, supported by the Sir Elton John Scholarship and Help Musicians UK. He is based in Berkshire and London.

 

Twitter & Instagram: @jordanli_smith

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Awards

Awards

Off West End ​Award, Best Musical Director (Winner)

Queen of the Mist 

BroadwayWorldUK Award, Best Musical Direction (Winner)

The Assassination of Katie Hopkins

Off West End ​Award, Best Musical Director (Winner)

Ragtime

BroadwayWorldUK Award, Best Musical Direction (Nominated)

Chess

Off West End ​Award, Best Musical Director (Nominated)

Amour 

AlsoRecognised ​Award, Best Musical Director (Runner Up)

Ragtime

Testimonials

Testimonials

"I have worked with Jordan several times, most notably as Musical Director on Ragtime at Charing Cross Theatre. Ours was an actor musician production, which required all the players to be off book. Jordan memorised the entire score and played it beautifully, sometimes with each hand on a different piano and while being swung around the stage on moving platforms! It was a sight to behold. He’s also the nicest, most dedicated man one could ask to work with."

Danielle Tarento

Producer & Casting Director

2010 - present
2010 - present

"The finest thing about Mountview's production of Les Misérables was Jordan Li-Smith's conducting of the score. It was breathtakingly good."

Rebecca Caine

Actress & Soprano

"Jordan is a wonderful collaborator who matches an almost encyclopaedic knowledge and respect for music in theatre with a strong creative instinct, a sharp wit and a heart full of empathy towards those who work with him. "

Dean Johnson

Director

"I love working with Jordan. His energy and enthusiasm are infectious, his command and sheer knowledge a joy to share in. Plus, he loves Judy Garland. I would work with him again in a heartbeat."

Matt Ryan

Director

"Jordan is a singularly excellent music director. His sensitivity to an actor’s process and how that inspires them to have a greater sense of strengthening their musical acting is unparalleled in the industry. His masterful command of everything from small bands to full size symphony orchestras, and how quickly he is able create a unified ensemble,  is testament to his exceptional talent. Jordan also has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the musical form and from this, he is able to make creative and exciting decisions that have perfectly informed and made my productions better."

Alex Sutton

Director

"Jordan is an extraordinarily talented and brilliant MD, a superlative musician and generous collaborator. I loved working with him, and will do so again at every opportunity."

James Grieve

Director & former Artistic Director of Paines Plough

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