Sam Perkin


© Aisling McCoy

Composer Sam Perkin, born 1985, writes new orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and choral music. He first earned his bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in composition at the CIT Cork School of Music in Ireland. He then completed his artistic diploma in composition at the Conservatoire national supérieur musique et danse de Lyon in France.

The composition “Waves” for solo percussionists and string orchestra was commissioned by the Irish Chamber Orchestra and is an attempt at self-healing for tinnitus. The piece is the result of a fruitful collaboration between the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Sam Perkin over the past few years, supported by Arts Council Ireland. The large-scale work “Grey Area” for ensemble and street skateboarding film mixes the world of street skateboarding with contemporary music. It was commissioned by Crash Ensemble for the Engage Arts Festival and premiered at the Musica nova Helsinki festival. His extensive work “Language” for solo violin was commissioned by the West Cork Chamber Music Festival for American violinist Miranda Cuckson. He wrote the piece “Twitter” for flute, choir and smartphones for the festival La Côte Flûte in Switzerland. His work “Pause” blends the sounds of a slowed-down Irish fiddle with the string orchestra. In 2016, the work “Brother” for solo marimba and voices in six languages premiered at the Festival La Ferme du Vinatier and the Festival Nuits Sonores in Lyon.

Sam Perkin won the prestigious composition prize “Prix Salabert” of the Conservatoire national supérieur musique et danse de Lyon in 2016 and was awarded “The Next Generation Bursary” by the Irish Arts Council in 2017. He was “Composer in Residence” at the 20th Festival of Youth Orchestras in Dublin and at the ConCorda Chamber Music Course for strings. As part of The Next Generation Bursary, he is Composer in Residence at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, as well as with Crash Ensemble for the 2018/2019 season. As part of his residency there, he composed five pieces inspired by his love of linguistics. Among them is a work for cellist Kate Ellis based on the Cork accent.

Sam Perkin has worked with several festivals including the New Ross Piano Festival, the Gregynog Music Festival in Wales, the Ortus Chamber Music Festival, and the West Cork Chamber Music Festival.