Praised for his versatility and soulful expressive style, Serafim Smigelskiy actively performs on both baroque and modern cellos. Serafim has toured the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, UAE, and Russia as a soloist and chamber musician, appearing with Jupiter Chamber Players, Trinity Baroque, NOVUS NY, the Sebastians, NYBI, FRISSON, ECCE, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, and New York Classical Players, among others. Serafim performed as principal cellist with the Juilliard Orchestra, Experiential Orchestra, Ensemble du Monde, and the Kansas City Philharmonic. Between 2014 and 2021, while a member of the Tesla Quartet, he appeared on some of the world’s most prestigious stages, including Wigmore Hall, the Esterhazy Palace, and the Mecklenburg-Vorprommern Festival, and released two award-winning albums.
His love of early music and fascination with historic performance practice led him to study baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai at the Juilliard Historical Performance Department and to perform with William Christie, Robert Mealy and Nicholas McGegan. A passionate advocate of new music, Serafim has given numerous world premiere performances guided by composers such as Arvo Pärt, Chaya Czernowin, Georg Friedrich Haas, Mathias Pintscher, Magnus Lindberg, Jessie Montgomery, Jessica Meyer, Caroline Shaw, and Ellen Reid. Serafim has also studied and collaborated with prominent musicians, such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Natalia Gutman, Laurence Lesser, Colin Carr, Martin Storey, Richard Aaron, Eric Rosenblith, Sylvia Rosenberg, Ben Sayevich, Stanislav Ioudenitch, Julius Berger, Alban Gerhardt, and many others.
Born and raised in Saint Petersburg, he trained at the Rimsky-Korsakov College, Saint Petersburg State Conservatory, Park University International Center for Music, and The Juilliard School. He won the First Prize of the Russian State's Russian Music Competition and top prizes at Banff International String Quartet Competition, Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition, Salzburger Festspiele, Mravinsky Cello Competition, and Mussorgsky String Competition.
Serafim also composes electronic music as Faremis Sound (YouTube and Instagram) and produces audiobooks with his wife, Sierra Prasada, as HiSierrafim Audio. He became an American citizen in 2021. When he’s not performing or rehearsing, he enjoys birding, windsurfing, photography, and reading.