Samantha Fernando


"...prodigiously talented ..."

Chris Garlick, Bachtrack

"...a composer with an ear for stillness and subtext."

The Times

"Her short, delicately sculpted Breathing Space, a whirring and buoyant play on ideas of inhaling and exhaling, made an ear-catching opener."

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

"...ethereal, bewitching music..."

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

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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 BBC Singers, 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 released on labels NMC and Coviello Classics. In 2018 she was commissioned to write a new work, Formations, celebrating the 50th birthday of the London Sinfonietta, premiered at the Royal Festival Hall and conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.

In 2019, Formations was choreographed by Kristen McNally and performed by the Royal Ballet in a showcase of new dance at the Linbury Theatre, ROH. Breathing Space for symphony orchestra was premiered by the Philharmonia Orchestra in Spring 2019, conducted by Martyn Brabbins.

Spring 2021 saw the premiere of Current, Rising, a new hyper VR opera, directed by Netia Jones, designed by Jo Scotcher and produced by the Royal Opera House and Figment Productions.

Click here to visit Samantha Fernando's page on the Rayfield Allied Publishing website where you can browse her full list of works, scores and recordings.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

glass human

Jerwood Studio, Glyndebourne (October 2022)

Profound and unsettling examination of the torment of isolation.

A sustained, low-frequency electronic soundscape by composer Samantha Fernando and librettist Melanie Wilson almost becomes a fourth, invisible character – a dark, swirling force that draws the trio to the outdoors and unites them in their fears.

Edward Bhesania, The Stage

Samantha Fernando - Current, Rising

Royal Opera House, Linbury Theatre (19 December 2020)

“Inspired by the liberation of Ariel at the end of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the pioneering video artist Netia Jones has created a spectacular, surreal and apocalyptic world, set to ethereal, bewitching music by Samantha Fernando."

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

Samantha Fernando - Breathing Space

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (Martyn Brabbins), The Anvil, Basingstoke (12 May 2019)

“Her short, delicately sculpted Breathing Space, a whirring and buoyant play on ideas of inhaling and exhaling, made an ear-catching opener”

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

Samantha Fernando - Formations

London Sinfonietta (Vladimir Jurowski), Royal Festival Hall (24 January 2018)

“Samantha Fernando’s Formations proclaimed a promising talent of the future.”

Barry Millington, Evening Standard

“Next up was Formations by the prodigiously talented Samantha Fernando. Scored for a larger chamber group, it is a 12-minute piece of delicacy and subtle colours, superbly brought to life with Vladimir Jurowski at the helm. It came across as an attractive piece with an original voice behind it and it was crowned by a passage near the end which introduced a faster flowing motion which opened out into a new perspective most effectively.”

Chris Garlick, Bachtrack

“…that of 33-year-old Samantha Fernando, it has found a real talent: Formations, which aims to conjure up the anticipation of impending motherhood, is an exquisitely suggestive work, and meticulously served here under Vladimir Jurowski’s baton.”

Hannah Nepil, Financial Times

Samantha Fernando The Journey Between Us

London Sinfonietta (Geoffrey Paterson), Southwark Playhouse (15 February 2016)

"...a composer with an ear forstillness and subtext."

Anna Picard, The Times

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