Samuel Burstin VIOLA

Born in London in 1981, Samuel Burstin was educated at the City of London School and Trinity College of Music. He studied the viola with Richard Crabtree and conducting with Peter Stark and Gregory Rose, and graduated with a BMus, PG Dip and prizes for Solo Bach, Chamber Music, Extemporisation and the prestigious TCM Silver Medal.

In 2005, after a year with the Southbank Sinfonia, he joined the Philharmonia Orchestra. He has played principal viola with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Opera North, Philharmonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Scottish Chamber orchestras. He has appeared at the Wigmore and Royal Festival Halls as a chamber musician, and has performed works by Bach, Berlioz, Brahms, Britten, Schubert, Telemann and Walton as recitalist and soloist. 

Samuel has been privileged to work with and learn from some of the world's finest conductors, including Ashkenazy, Dohnányi, Dudamel, Dutoit, Gatti, Gergiev, Maazel, Mackerras, Masur, Muti, Nelsons, Panula, Salonen, Temirkanov and Zander. Samuel made his professional conducting debut in 2009 with the West London Sinfonia with a programme including Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5. In 2011 he founded the Paradisal Players, with whom he gives around three concerts a year; these have helped raise over £100,000 for charities. In January 2013 they performed Rossini's William Tell overture and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Slovenian pianist Ana Sinkovec at St John's, Smith Square. In June 2014 Samuel was a prizewinner at the prestigious Evgeny Svetlanov International Conducting Competition in Paris, where he conducted the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France at the Salle Pleyel and was described by a jury member as "unfailingly musical." Later that year he led the Roman River Festival Orchestra in Stravinsky's The Firebird suite (1919) and Elgar's Cello Concerto with the LSO's principal cellist Rebecca Gilliver. Other highlights have included: Schumann's Concert Piece for Four Horns with the horns of the BBC Symphony Orchestra; both Strauss Horn Concertos with the Philharmonia's principal horn Katy Woolley; three world premiers; and further music by Beethoven, Borodin, Brahms, Corelli, Dvorak, Elgar, Finzi, Giazotto, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Poulenc, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Vaughan Williams and Wagner. 

In November 2015 Samuel will make his Russian debut with the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra with works by Shostakovich, Korngold and Bartok. In March 2016 he will conduct the Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra with works by Copland, Holst, Webern and Elgar.

Samuel regularly teaches at London conservatoires and coaches youth orchestras. He writes a popular blog about life on tour with the Philharmonia, published on the orchestra's website. He enjoys cooking, cycling, swimming and keeping up with the fortunes of Arsenal FC. He is married to the Slovenian pianist Ana Sinkovec Burstin, with whom he has a beautiful daughter.