Whether wielding baton or bow, Samuel brings huge passion, commitment, expertise and energy to his music-making. He has been a violist in the Philharmonia Orchestra since 2005; he is an award-wining chamber musician; and in 2010 he founded the Paradisal Players, an orchestra of top professional and brilliant amateur players, whom he conducts several times a year in concerts for charities.
Born in London in 1981, Samuel studied violin, piano, saxophone and singing as a child. He became soloist of the Temple Church choir, before falling in love with the viola at sixteen and entering the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. In 1999 he entered Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, studying viola with Richard Crabtree and conducting with Peter Stark; he left five years later having won several prizes and awards for viola, chamber music and extemporisation and the prestigious Silver Medal for Strings, and with an Honours Degree (1st) and a Postgraduate Diploma (distinction). A year with Southbank Sinfonia followed, before he joined the Philharmonia.
As a member of one of the world's great orchestras, Samuel has travelled far and wide working with the world's finest musicians. He has watched, listened and learned from conductors such as Ashkenazy, Brüggen, Dudamel, Dutoit, Gatti, Maazel, Mackerras, Masur, Muti, Salonen, Temirkanov and Zander. He has been invited to lead the viola sections of the Scottish Chamber, Opera North, BBC Wales, Bournemouth Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras. He is a passionate chamber musician, and as soloist he has performed works by Britten, Mozart, Telemann and Walton with orchestras across Britain and in Italy.
Samuel has been fascinated by the art of conducting for many years; he enjoys analysing the huge range of techniques and attitudes displayed on the podium. He has attended masterclasses with Klaus Arp, John Farrer, Jorma Panula, Peter Stark, Neil Thomson and Benjamin Zander. Since 2006 he has made regular guest appearances as conductor with St Paul's Sinfonia, and in 2009 he made his professional début with the West London Sinfonia in a concert including Shostakovich's epic Symphony No. 5. His Paradisal Players have raised over £5000 for charity, performing Beethoven, Brahms, Corelli, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Purcell, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Wagner and Vaughan Williams. Their next concert, at St John's, Smith Square on 17th January 2013, will include works by Rachmaninov and Rossini, and is a gala event organised by Lady Rothermere to raise money for Veterans Aid.
Samuel's commitment to communicating the joy of making music has lead to him writing blogs for the Philharmonia's website, in which he describes the sights and sounds of life in the orchestra. He believes that great music can empower, enlighten and enhance people's lives, when performed with passion, understanding and love. Samuel plays a magnificent 2010 viola by David Milward, and waves a baton from Chappell's of Bond Street.
Samuel appears in the following Philharmonia films: