Fenwick Smith's Boston-based performing career began in the mid-1970s when he joined the contemporary-music ensemble Boston Musica Viva, the New England Woodwind Quintet, and the Mélisande Trio. After joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1978 he continued his participation in recitals, radio broadcasts, and chamber music performance. A dedicated teacher, he has taught at New England Conservatory since 1976; he was the recipient of New England Conservatory's Laurence Lesser Award for Excellence in Teaching.
As a concerto soloist Fenwick Smith has introduced to Boston audiences Lukas Foss's Renaissance Concerto and the flute concertos of John Harbison, Richard Toensing, and Christopher Rouse. His adventuresome discography includes première recordings of works by Cage, Copland, Dahl, Foote, Gaubert, Ginastera, Harbison, Koechlin, Pinkham, Reinecke, Rorem, Schuller, Schulhoff, and Schoenberg. In 2006 he retired from the Boston Symphony Orchestra after a distinguished 28-year career; he continues as a member of the Boston Chamber Music Society, which he joined in 1984.