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Burstin, Samuel (10 June 1981-Present)

Violist from London, England, who started out on the piano, saxophone and violin, but became enamoured of the viola at seventeen years of age.  He attended Trinity College of Music, where he studied viola with Richard Crabtree and conducting with Peter Stark.

On 4th August 2001, he was one of a handful of musicians who performed John Tavener’s Iero Oniro (A Sacred Dream) at the BBC Proms under the baton of Benjamin Wolf.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 2003 and a post-graduate degree in 2004.

On 12th April 2004, the Navarra String Quartet, which included Samuel, Alison Holford, Helena Ruinard and James Widden, performed Franz Joseph Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ at St. John’s Church in Lancaster.

Samuel was a member of the Southbank Sinfonia from 2004 to 2005 and then joined the Philharmonia Orchestra of London.

On 17th March 2006, he and violinist James Widden performed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante, K. 364” with the St. Paul’s Sinfonia conducted by Andrew Morley.

He made a guest appearance with The Lycydas Trio on 13th May 2006 in a recital of piano quartets by Johannes Brahms, Gabriel Faure, and Mozart.

On 19th July 2007, he reunited with the Southbank Sinfonia at Teatro Greco in Forio, Italy.  He and violinist Alex Afia performed the aforementioned “Sinfonia Concertante” and that was followed by William Walton’s “Siesta” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 1, Op. 21”.

Samuel, cellist Benjamin Hughes and violinists Fiona Cornall and Adrian Varela traveled to Uruguay where they made stops at Lake Golf Club & Resort, Hotel L’Auberge, and Mantra Resort Spa & Casino.  Their program included Haydn’s “String Quartet No. 3, Op. 76” (“Emperor”), Mozart’s “Divertimento No. 1, K. 136”, Astor Piazzolla’s “Fuga y Misterio” and “Introduccion” from “Suite Punta del Este”, Franz Schubert’s “String Quartet, D. 804”, and Varela’s own “24 hrs. en Punta del Este”.

On 24th October 2008, composer and violinist Kufu led members of the Philharmonia in a concert at Royal Festival Hall that included his “Escape from Buenos Aires”, “Garota de Waterloo”, and “Milonga para el Che”.

Samuel conducted St. Paul’s Sinfonia on 15th May 2009 in performances of Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 8” and Mozart’s overture from The Marriage of Figaro.

The Arcadian String Quartet which comprised Samuel, Alison Holford, Eleanor Parry and James Widden, appeared at Art in Action in July 2009, performing works by Haydn and Felix Mendelssohn.

On 20th November 2009, Samuel was back at the podium conducting St. Paul’s Sinfonia in performances of Beethoven’s “Ecossaise” and “Military March” and Haydn’s “Symphony No. 100” (“Military”).

He conducted the West London Sinfonia on 28th November 2009 at St. Barnabas Pitshanger Lane in a concert of Alexander Borodin’s “Polovtsian Dances” from Prince Igor and Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Piano Concerto No. 2” and “Symphony No. 5”.

On 25th March 2010, violinist Joshua Bell joined the Philharmonia for a Beethoven double-header than included the master’s “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 61” and “Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55” (“Eroica”).  They performed Jean Sibelius’s “Lemminkainen Suite” and Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring at the Torino Auditorium on 13th September 2010.  In November 2010, they toured Germany and Switzerland where they performed works by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.  Christoph von Dohnanyi conducted them in performances of Brahms and Schumann in December 2010.

On 11th January 2011, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducted his own “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra”, with soloist Leila Josefowicz, Bela Bartok’s “Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta”, and Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” and “Ma mere l’Oye (suite)”.  They performed in concert with Coro Gulbenkian, tenor Attila Fekete and baritone Michele Kalmandi at Coliseu dos Recreois on 13th January 2011.  The program included Bartok’s “Cantata Profana” and “The Miraculous Mandarin” and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

On 23rd January 2011, the Paradisal Players, a group founded by Samuel, made its debut at St. Alfege Church in Greenwich with Henry Purcell’s “Chaconny in G minor”, Shostakovich’s “Chamber Symphony”, Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings”, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis”.

The Philharmonia teamed up with soloist Sergey Khachatryan on 4th February 2011 for Shostakovich’s “Concerto for Violin No. 1, Op. 77” on an evening that was rounded out by Tchaikovsky’s “Sinfonia, Op. 58” (“Manfred”).

Another group to which Samuel is integral is The Elena Trio, which includes cellist Niamh Molloy and violinist Emma Wragg.  They made their debut in St. Alfrege Church in Greenwich on 13th February 2011 with Beethoven’s “String Trio No. 3 in C minor” and Mozart’s “Divertimento in E flat”.

On 8th April 2011, Samuel led St. Paul’s Sinfonia in performances of Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto”, with soloist Elona Laurie, and Sibelius’s “Symphony No. 2”.

The Paradisal Players performed Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5”, Brahms’ “Symphony No. 1” and Mozart’s overture from The Magic Flute at Christ Church in Highbury on 11th June 2011.

Recordings on which Samuel appears include the London Symphony Orchestra’s boxed set:  Sibelius:  Symphonies Nos. 1-7; Kullervo.  He can be heard in the viola section on “Symphony No. 5”.

In 2014 he won a prize in Paris at the Evgeny Svetlanov International Conducting Competition conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the following year he was the conductor of the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra.  In 2016 he was the Music Director of Orchestra of De Montfort University and in 2017 made his debut as a conductor of the Philharmonia.

Here he conducts the Paradisal Players for the ending of Brahms Symhony No. 2 Op. 73…