Sam Forest.png
a composer with
an ear for
stillness and subtext.
— The Times, on The Journey Between Us



Resonance and harmonic colour play a vital role in Samantha’s music. This preoccupation yields pieces with an intensely colourful and often meditative quality.  Other art-forms are a constant source of inspiration which have prompted collaborations with writers, directors, choreographers and performers.

Samantha (b.1984) has worked with numerous ensembles including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Riot Ensemble, the choir of Selwyn College Cambridge, LOD Muziektheater (Ghent), Silbersee Vocal Ensemble (Amsterdam) and The London Sinfonietta. Her music has been performed at festivals here and abroad such as Aldeburgh Music, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Sounds New, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, York Late Music, Lake District Summer Music and The Oxford Lieder Festival.

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. Samantha’s music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and her flute piece Kinesphere was released on NMC last year. Last year she was commissioned to write a new work celebrating the 50th birthday of the London Sinfonietta, premiered at the Royal Festival Hall in January 2018 and conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. In June 2018, her music was showcased in a portrait concert at Kettle’s Yard Cambridge.

This February her work Formations was choreographed by Kristen McNally and performed by the Royal Ballet in a showcase of new dance at the Linbury Theatre, ROH. Upcoming commissions include a new work for the Philharmonia Orchestra in Spring 2019, conducted by Martyn Brabbins.

Samantha studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the University of Oxford. She holds as doctorate in Composition and she is a Lecturer in Composition at Royal Holloway, University of London.


News & Updates





  • 8:08
    Xasax Saxophone Quartet Samantha Fernando
  • 6:03
    Oliver Coates (cello) Samantha Fernando
  • 1:25
    Elsbeth Gerritsen (mezzo), Eva Reiter (paetzold contrabass recorder), Samantha Fernando
  • 6:50
    (fl,cl,a.sax,vc) London Sinfonietta, Samantha Fernando

Performance dates


upcoming- 2019


3rd - New work, philharmonia orchestra, conducted by Martyn brabbins, the anvil, basingstoke

New commission for the Philharmonia Orchestra, commissioned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Anvil concert hall.

More info and tickets here


6th-9th - formations, royal ballet, linbury studio, roh, london

‘Formations’, which was commissioned last year by the London Sinfonietta, is being choreographed by Kristen McNally for this showcase ‘New Work New Music’, at the newly refurbished Linbury Studio.

More info and tickets here



5th - echo of a woman, royal holloway symphony orchestra, conducted by rebecca miller

Commissioned by Royal Holloway and Egham Museum to celebrate the centenary of Women’s Suffrage. The new work, ‘Echo of a Woman’ for soprano and orchestra, is generously supported by Arts Council England.

Tickets and more info here


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.

Tickets and more info here


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.

Tickets and more info here




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.

Look Up for four voices, viola da gamba and electronics will be performed by Silbersee vocal ensemble at Gaudeamus Muziekweek. 



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


New work for narrator and ensemble. Commissioned by the London Sinfonietta. Premiered at Southwark Playhouse.

Conductor- Geoffrey Patterson

Narrator- Lisa Dwan

London Sinfonietta


Tickets here


Performance of Kinesphere (solo flute), Southwark Playhouse. London Sinfonietta, Michael Cox (flute)





20th - Positive/Negative Space, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

Positive/Negative Space (fl/cl/bass cl/vc), performed by The Riot Ensemble.

Bates Mill, Huddersfield

More info here



17th - Sorrow's Share, Britten Studio, snape maltings.

Chamber opera, Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh.Libretto: J L Williams, Director: Finn Beames, Designer: Harry Witham

Tickets here




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. 

Peckham Asylum


Works List



  • 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).

Chamber(5+ players)

  • 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).

Chamber (vocal)

  • 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).

Chamber Opera

  • 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).




look up 

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.


fault line for solo cello: discussion and demo
with zoe martlew