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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'

Music Direction

Jordan Li-Smith is an award-winning music director and conductor. He is currently the music director of Here You Come Again, the new Dolly Parton musical, which is embarking on a UK Tour in 2024 following a run at Leeds Playhouse. His music direction has been hailed as “impeccable” (The Stage), and has been described that he conducts “with a ferocity, an impassioned clarity, that reminds one of Leonard Bernstein” (Live Theatre UK).

Most recently, Jordan conducted the 2023 China Tour of Maury Yeston and Peter Stone’s epic musical, Titanic. He also music supervises the development of the hit cult musical, Starry, based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh.

In 2020, he made his West End debut conducting the Donmar Warehouse revival of City of Angels at The Garrick.

 

Off-West End, he received Off-West End awards for his music 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 BerlusconiThe 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) and Anything Goes (The Other Palace). He was Associate Music Director for the Off-West End revival of Songs for a New World at Upstairs at the Gatehouse. He is a guest conductor of the London Musical Theatre Orchestra.  He conducted and supervised the original London cast recording of Queen of the Mist.

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Regionally, he received a BroadwayWorld UK Award for his music direction of 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), Lost & Found (Factory International) and One Man Two Guvnors (Bolton Octagon/UK Tour). He is a sought after 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, 9 to 5 (Chichester University), Spring Awakening (BTA); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Guildford School of Acting), Grand Hotel and Once On This Island (Momentum Performing Arts Academy).

 

As a Children's Casting Music Director, Jordan contributed to the Elton John musical biopic film, Rocketman (and made a very brief on-screen cameo).

Jordan is an accomplished cabaret pianist and performer, making his 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 received his training from the Royal Academy of Music, where he was awarded the Sir Elton John Scholarship. He is from Wrexham, North Wales, and is based in London.

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 of 'Starry'

"Jordan was a real asset to our production of The Lion, a one-man musical. He brought such an eye for detail and in so many subtle ways, adding so much colour and nuance to the songs that truly enhanced the storytelling. Being a solo show, Jordan was also crucial in providing advice and vocal techniques for our actor to support him through such a vocally demanding role. I'd absolutely work with him again.

Alex Thomas

Director of 'The Lion'

"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 can create a unified ensemble, is a 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 of 'Preludes'

"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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