Hear samples of David's work.


What people are saying.
Talk about impressive pedigrees: New Jersey-based composer David Sampson can look back on studies with Karel Husa, Henri Dutilleux, and John Corigliano. The head spins at the possible permutations and combinations of the expressive languages and techniques of those three. And truth be known, listening to the 66-year-old composer’s chamber music can have that very effect on the listener, as the influence of these three has been subsumed into the unusually potent, colorful, and expressive voice of this now highly regarded, award-winning musician. Ronald E. Grames

Reviewer, Fanfare

The more I hear of the music of David Sampson, the more I am convinced that he is one of the major compositional voices of our time. His music has every quality I consider necessary to become enduring through the centuries. Performances are all of the highest order, and so this disc becomes a sine qua non for the serious collector of musical works from our era. David DeBoor

Reviewer, Canfield Fanfare

As a New Jersey-based critic, I puff up with pride at the music of the Garden State’s own David Sampson. He’s the real deal. His technique in a variety of mediums is impeccable, as one would expect from someone whose composition teachers included Henri Dutilleux and John Corigliano. Moreover, Sampson’s music exudes warmth. So many of our internationally known composers, both American and European, strike me as cold fish. Sampson, however, is a robust yet sensitive individual. The works on the present disc evince a mastery of form with feeling. Dave Saemann

Reviewer, Fanfare


David Sampson (b. 1951, Charlottesville, Virginia) has emerged as one of the truly unique voices of his generation.  He was Composer-in-Residence with the Colonial Symphony Orchestra from 1998 through 2007.  He was a recipient a 2014 New Jersey State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship.

His major works include The War Prayer for soloists, chorus and orchestra commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts and premiered by Princeton Pro Musica;  Hommage JFK commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra;  Monument  commissioned by the Barlow Foundation for the Akron and Memphis symphony orchestras;  Turns for Cello and Orchestra commissioned by the Bergen Foundation and cellist Paul Tobias and premiered with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra;  Triptych for trumpet and orchestra commissioned by the International Trumpet Guild and premiered by Raymond Mase at the Aspen Music Festival and with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall;  Dectet commissioned by the Chicago Chamber Musicians;  Elements commissioned by the Elements Quartet;  Strata  commissioned by the NEA and the American Brass Quintet;   Jersey Rain commissioned by the NEA and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and premiered by Harmonium and Masterworks Choruses and the Colonial Symphony.

Other works include Breathing Lessons for saxophone quartet commissioned by Chamber Music America for the Amherst Saxophone Quartet, Three Portraits for tuba and orchestra commissioned by Scott Mendoker;  Short Stories commissioned by Chamber Music America and the Pew Charitable Trusts;  Elements commissioned by the Elements Quartet;  Four Winds commissioned by the Chelsea Chamber Ensemble;  Moving Parts written for the Randolph Wind Ensemble, David Aulenbach, conductor; Double Back for trumpet, trombone and wind ensemble premiered by Rex Richardson, Joseph Alessi and the VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Terry Austin, director; and Simple Lives commissioned by the Colonial Symphony.

Recordings include Monument, Triptych, Hommage JFK, Three Portraits, Simple Lives  (Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra;  Alan Balter, conductor;  Raymond 

Mase,  trumpet;  Scott Mendoker, tuba; (Summit Records DCD237); Short Stories  (Dorian Wind Quintet, Summit Records);  Morning Music  and Distant Voices (American Brass Quintet, Summit Records);  Reflections on a Dance (Summit Brass, Summit Records);  The Mysteries Remain  and Solo  (Raymond Mase, Summit Records); and Chants and Flourishes (American Brass Quintet).  Moving Parts for wind ensemble was recorded by both the North Texas Wind Ensemble, Eugene Corporan, conductor and the Rutgers Wind Ensemble, William Berz, conductor.  His Serenade for flugelhorn and string orchestra was recorded by the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra with Raymond Mase as soloist and Paul Polivnick conducting;  and his Dectet  was recorded by the Wihan Quartet, Afflatus Wind Quintet and pianist Richard Ormrod with Paul Polivnick conducting.  The album Dectet (Troy 780) was released on Albany Records.  Chesapeake (DCD 639), released on Summit Records September, 2014 includes works written for the American Brass Quintet as a group and as members of various chamber ensembles.  The most recent release on Summit Records is Notes From Faraway Places (DCD 681), a collection of works written between 1980 and 2015.


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