Samantha was born in Berkshire (UK) in 1984 and now lives in Surrey. She has been commissioned by numerous ensembles and festivals including the London Sinfonietta, Aldeburgh Music, the Oxford Lieder Festival and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Her work has been performed both in the UK (The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Linbury Studio ROH, St. Martin-In-The-Fields and King’s Place) as well as abroad.
In 2013, she was awarded an RPS Composition Prize and was commissioned to write a new work for the Philharmonia Orchestra as part of the Music of Today series. This work, Sense of Place, was premiered in May 2014 at the Royal Festival Hall. In 2014 Samantha worked on projects with Silbersee Vocal Ensemble (Amsterdam) and LOD Muziektheater (Ghent). She was also selected for the Opera Creation programme at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence with Martin Crimp. In 2015, her music was performed at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival by the Riot Ensemble.
2016 saw the premiere of The Journey Between Us- a large-scale work for narrator and ensemble, commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and premiered at the Southwark Playhouse in February. Also premiered in February was Samantha's Sissay Settings for soprano and piano, commissioned by York Late Music in response to the poetry of Lemn Sissay. Her solo flute work, Kinesphere, was released on NMC this year. Look Up for 4 voices, viola da gamba and electronics was performed at Gaudeamus Muziekweek in September.
Current projects include a new work for the London Sinfonietta to be premiered in January 2018 at their 50th anniversary concert at the Royal Festival Hall, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.
Samantha is a Lecturer in Composition at Royal Holloway, University of London.
News & Updates
Singing the baby to sleep involves executing a carefully gradated diminuendo al niente over the course of 15 minute… https://t.co/QizUt2gdJ4
7th - Portrait concert, Kettle's Yard, cambridge
a selection on my chamber works will be performed in a portrait concert at Kettle's Yard, including a new commission for soprano, cello and piano- The Way Home.
Raphaela Papakadis (soprano), Dominic Saunders (piano), Corentin Chassard (cello)
14th & 15th - new aria for the 40th anniversary of NOs
hoxton hall, London
The National Opera Studio has commissioned 12 new arias to mark its 40th anniversary, one for each of its singers. I have created a new work, 'The Handbag Aria' with librettist Rebecca Hurst for soprano Lorena Paz Nieto, accompanied by Erika Gundesen.
24th - new work, london sinfonietta, royal festival hall
New work for the 50th anniversary concert of the London Sinfonietta. To be premiered at the Royal Festival Hall, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. More information and tickets here.
22nd - bbc radio 3 broadcast.
4 Illuminations for Saxophone Quartet, broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Hear and Now programme.
9th - Look Up, Gaudeamus muziekweek, utrecht, Netherlands.
30th - To Dust we return, film score recording
Recording session at The Warehouse, Waterloo, with the London Mozart Players. Film written and directed by Peter Mallett. Conductor: Stacey Watton, recording engineer: Aaron Holloway-Nahum.
27th - Sissay Settings, York Late Music
Set of new songs for soprano and piano, commissioned by York Late Music. Poems by Lemn Sissay. Concert in conjunction with York Literature Festival.
Soprano - Ana Beard Fernandez
Piano - Kate Ledger
7.30pm St Saviourgate Chapel, York. Tickets here
10TH & 11TH - THE JOURNEY BETWEEN US, SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE
New work for narrator and ensemble. Commissioned by the London Sinfonietta. Premiered at Southwark Playhouse.
Conductor- Geoffrey Patterson
Narrator- Lisa Dwan
8TH - SPEAKS, SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE
Performance of Kinesphere (solo flute), Southwark Playhouse. London Sinfonietta, Michael Cox (flute)
22nd - Fault Line, Peckham Asylum
Fault Line for solo cello, performed by Oliver Coates. Commissioned by the London Sinfonietta in conjunction with Kingston University and Creative Works.
Its Day for tenor and orchestra. Commissioned by the Aldeburgh Music, and premiered at Snape Maltings, Suffolk (October 2014).
- Glimmer for soprano and orchestra. Premiered by the Lux Orchestra and conducted by Maxime Tortellier. Performed at the Canterbury Arts Festival and at St James Church, Holland Park, London (October 2011).
- Frozen Reflection for chamber orchestra. Commissioned by the Aurora Orchestra and premiered in the Sounds New Festival, Canterbury (May 2009).
- 3 Chopin Orchestrations for chamber orchestra. Commissioned by the Aurora Orchestra and premiered in the Sounds New Festival, Canterbury (May 2009).
- Behind the Lids of Sleep for baritone and orchestra. Commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra and performed in the Dukes Hall. Conducted by Patrick Bailey and Sung by George Humphreys (September 2008).
- The Journey Between Us for narrator and ensemble. Commissioned by The London Sinfonietta and generously supported by Entrepreneurs Michael & Patricia McLaren-Turner and an Elliott Carter legacy. Premiered at the Southwark Playhouse by the London Sinfonietta, Geoffrey Patterson (conductor), Lisa Dwan (narrator) and John Lloyd-Davies (director) February 2016.
- Sense of Place for large ensemble. Commissioned by the Philharmonia Orchestra and premiered at the Royal Festival Hall as part of the Music of Today Series (May 2014).
- Shadows on Shadows for solo double bass and string ensemble, commissioned by Christ Church Music Society and Oxford Contemporary Music Group, premiered at Christ Church Cathedral (May 2010).
Chamber (1-4 players)
- Fault-Line for solo cello, commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and premiered at Peckham Asylum (June 2015).
- Kinesphere for solo flute. Commissioned by the London Sinfonietta for their Sinfonietta Shorts series, premiered at Kings Place by Michael Cox (November 2014). To be released on the NMC label in February 2016.
- Positive/Negative Space for flute, clarinet, alto saxophone and cello. Commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and premiered at the Purcell Room, London. (December 2013). Second performance by the Riot Ensemble at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (November 2015).
- 4 Illuminations for saxophone quartet premiered at Royaumont Abbey, France, by the Xasax Quartet (September 2012).
Sissay Settings, for soprano and piano. Settings of poetry by Lemn Sissay. Commissioned by York Late Music and premiered by Ana Beard Fernandez (soprano) and Kate Ledger (piano) at the Festival in February 2016.
- Look Up for four voices, bass viol and electronics. Commissioned by LOD Music Theatre and Silbersee vocal ensemble, Belgium, premiered at LOD Music Theatre in Ghent (December 2014).
- Ganymede for tenor and piano. Commissioned by the Oxford Leider Festival and premiered at the Holywell Music Room (October 2014).
- 3 songs for cello and soprano performed by Zosia Jagodinska and Gwen Martin at New Sounds, Shoreditch (January 2014).
- War Without End for baritone and piano, text by Euan Ferguson, from the Observer. Commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and Opera Genesis. Premiered at Kings Place, London (January 2009).
- Sorrow’s Share, premiered at Snape Maltings in September 2015. JL Williams (librettist), Finn Beames (director) and Harry Whitham (designer). Written as part of the Jerwood Opera Writing Programme.
- After, a music theatre piece for soprano, baritone and piano, commissioned by Lake District Summer Music and premiered at the Theatre-by-the-Lake, Keswick (August 2010).
- Change for unaccompanied choir, selected by the John Armitage Memorial for two performances at St. Bride’s Church London and Manchester Cathedral. Performed by the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College Cambridge, conducted by Nicholas Cleobury (March 2009).
A short film of the premiere of Look Up at LOD in Ghent (December 2014) with the singers of Silbersee, viola da gamba and electronics.
Jennifer Van der Hart- soprano
Elsbeth Gerritsen – mezzo
Steven van Gils – tenor
Arnout Lems – baritone
Pieter Vandeveire – viola da gamba
Wouter Snoei – electronics
the journey between us: trailer
Explore the intricate links between new music and storytelling on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 February 2016 at Southwark Playhouse. Personal, compelling and deeply powerful, four short stories traverse the challenges of personal relationships at different stages in life. A new work by RPS award-winning composer Samantha Fernando intersperses the words, giving space for a different kind of listening.