Smith is the former conductor of Finland's Kuopio Philharmonic and Opera, the U.K's Performing Arts Symphony Orchestra, and South Carolina Opera, and is currently principal conductor of Palmetto Opera. His tenure is the longest in the South Carolina Philharmonic's history.
The Philharmonic will dedicate its 2006-07 season to celebrating Smith's tenure and searching for his successor.
"The musicians and the public will play a critical role in helping the Philharmonic choose its next music director," said board president Harvey Galloway. "We are looking for the complete package, from artistic excellence to a dynamic personality with strong public appeal. Ideally, we would like a music director that shares a love of Columbia and enjoys meeting with the public."