Samantha Bennett

Principal Second

Samantha Bennett

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Principal Second

First year with SO: 2016

Hometown: Ames, IA

Instrument: Samantha plays on a 1769 Tomaso Eberle violin from Naples, Italy and a Eugene Sartory bow.

Bachelor of Music - New England Conservatory; Master of Music - New England Conservatory

Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as a violinist "full of subtlety and poise", Samantha Bennett is an active and varied performer around the globe. In 2016, she joined the Sarasota Orchestra as Principal Second Violin. Prior to this position, she was a violinist in The Florida Orchestra. She performs regularly with Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops and Minnesota Orchestra. As a recitalist, Samantha has performed in Boston's Jordan Hall, London's Wigmore Hall, and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall.  She has participated in the Lucerne Festival Academy, Spoleto Festival USA, Music Academy of the West, and Tanglewood Music Festival, where she performed for three seasons with the New Fromm Players.  A fierce advocate of new music, she is the co-founder and Artistic Director of ensembleNEWSRQ, a contemporary music collective based in Sarasota, FL. She completed her degrees at the New England Conservatory with Donald Weilerstein and Malcolm Lowe.

In addition to performing violin, Samantha enjoys cooking, baking, gardening, and dance.

Career Highlights:
Samantha's career highlights include:

  • Soloing on Vivaldi's 'Winter' last season with the Sarasota Orchestra.
  • Performing in the Nordic Symphony and Anu Tali in Tallinn, Estonia in August 2018.
  • As Concertmaster of the New Haven Symphony, recording works for "Portrait of Augusta Read Thomas" (Nimbus Records), including the World Premiere recording of Augusta Read Thomas's saxophone concerto Hemke Concerto "Prisms of Light".
  • Participating in the Ringling Museum's International Arts Festival in 2017 with ensembleNEWSRQ, performing five programs and soloing with Luciano Berio's Sequenza XIV for violin
  • Premiering Einojuhani Rautavaara's 'Lost Landscapes' for solo violin and orchestra at Tanglewood.
  • Performing and premiering new works as Ensemble-In-Residence with the New Fromm Players at renowned composer Bright Sheng's contemporary music festival, The Intimacy of Creativity 2015, in Hong Kong.
  • With the New Fromm Players, recording music for Renee Fleming in her play Living on Love, which was premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2014 and ran on Broadway the next year.
  • As part of the Tanglewood Music Center, performing and recording with Yo Yo Ma, Anne Sophie Mutter, Gil Shaham and Emanuel Ax as part of the PBS broadcast 'Tanglewood's 75th Anniversary Celebration'.

Musical Musings

Read our blog about the Sarasota Orchestra and Sarasota Music Festival.


Written byHerald Tribune

 There's no doubt, audiences are thrilled by the Sarasota Orchestra's new music director, Anu Tali. She's brought an intense energy from the orchestra in previous performances and we found this yet again in a downright thrill ride of an encounter...  

Written byHerald Tribune

 Literally gripping the arms of my seat, I was not the only one propelled on this rollercoaster of delightful music.  

Written byHerald Tribune

 Every section and soloist within the orchestra played their role with strength and beauty; every tree proud and tall. Tali served as an excellent guide leading the forces with assured confidence. The overall sound was lush and, yes, intense just where it needed to be.  

Written byHerald Tribune

 The Sarasota Orchestra was brimming with bubbling energy...  

Written byHerald Tribune

 A lifetime of musical moments, cinematic in scope, gave every section of the orchestra a leading role at one time or another. Chief among them was the virtuosic solo of concertmaster Daniel Jordan.  

Written byHerald Tribune

 It was a thrill ride resulting in an explosion of audience enthusiasm.  

Written byHerald Tribune

 Tali conveyed a clear vision for the dramatic outline of this symphony, carefully pacing the darker, searching character of the music with pastoral conversations among voices in the orchestra.  

Written byThe Observer

 If you haven’t seen Tali yet, this will be a great introduction to the skyrocketing conductor who’s quickly becoming a household name around the world. You’ll see why we feel we’re lucky to have her here.  

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