He promises some “big, bad and boisterous” music when his original work is premiered during the NZSO National Youth Orchestra residency in August 2013.
As part of the Residency, each Composer-in-Residence must write a 10-15 minute work for the opening of this special NZSO National Youth Orchestra concert.
That doesn’t sound too difficult for this keen “Blenheim-born and raised” young musician who is as competent at playing the guitar and piano as he is at composing.
After achieving Grade Seven on each instrument he turned his hand to “eighties-style electric guitar shredding”.
“I learnt by watching YouTube videos and I think I’ve played classical guitar in just about every winery in the Marlborough region. The guitar and piano are not staple orchestral instruments but they are definitely great composition tools.”
After “tinkering” on the piano as a child, Sam started writing music at High School but it wasn’t until he began his studies at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington in 2008 that he got into “writing music in a big way”.
Sam has since enjoyed composition tutelage under esteemed composers Kenneth Young, Michael Norris and John Psathas. Currently he is working towards a Masters degree under the supervision of Dr David Cosper and Prof. John Psathas.
He has also had compositions played by the New Zealand String Quartet, NZSM Orchestra, and worked with a diverse range of student ensembles at NZSM.
Now, Sam plays an active part in the late-night Wellington live music scene performing in bands at major clubs and performance venues as well as some of the capital city’s finest restaurants as half of a Latin guitar duo.
He’s even appeared with Iggy Pop in a national TV commercial and appeared as Jimi Hendrix at the Classic Fighters Omaka Air show and even Buddy in a theatrical production of The Buddy Holly Story.
“To be given the opportunity to write for an ensemble of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra’s calibre is awesome. In fact, writing music for any orchestra, and then getting the chance to hear your music back in the full force of 60 or more musicians, is a phenomenal experience. I’m really excited and honoured to work with such a talented ensemble,” Sam says.
“This will be my greatest and most challenging opportunity to date, and through this, I endeavour to create my best work yet.”
Sam has also been selected to have a work read by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at this year’s NZSO Todd Corporation Young Composers Awards programme which takes place in Wellington from 25-27 November.
His work Lost Island is a short episode of escapism with several nods to 20th Century composers Ravel and Leonard Bernstein with a leaning towards a cinematic aesthetic.
The programme will be mentored by Dunedin-based composer Anthony Ritchie and conducted by Tecwyn Evans.
For more information about the NZSO Todd Corporation Young Composers Awards please click here >
Click here to find out about the next exciting NZSO National Youth Orchestra concert in February 2013 >
NB. The NZSO National Youth Orchestra Composer-in-Residence must be a New Zealand resident and under 30 years of age.