Samantha Bennett

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Principal Second

First Season with SO: 2016

Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as a violinist "full of subtlety and poise", Samantha Bennett is an active and varied performer around the globe. Ms. Bennett was recently appointed Principal Second Violin of the Sarasota Orchestra, starting in September 2016. Prior to this position, she was a tenured violinist in The Florida Orchestra. She performs regularly with Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops and is a frequent Guest Concertmaster of the New Haven Symphony. As Concertmaster of the New Haven Symphony, Ms. Bennett recorded 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".

As a recitalist, Ms. Bennett has performed in Boston's Jordan Hall, London's Wigmore Hall, and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Bennett is a prize winner as both soloist and chamber musician at the MTNA and ASTA national competitions, the Chicago Union League Civic and Arts Competition, Saint Paul String Quartet Competition, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and the Johansen International Competition. She has participated in the internationally renowned Lucerne Festival Academy, Spoleto Festival USA, the Music Academy of the West, and the Tanglewood Music Festival, where she was awarded the 2013 Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize. As part of the TMC, Ms. Bennett accompanied legendary soloists Yo Yo Ma, Anne Sophie Mutter, Gil Shaham and Emanuel Ax as part of the PBS broadcast Tanglewood's 75th Anniversary Celebration. Additionally, she had the privilege of performing at Tanglewood for two seasons (2014-15) as a New Fromm Player, a group of Tanglewood Music Center alumni that specialize in contemporary music performance. With the New Fromm Players, she recorded music for Renee Fleming in he r play Living on Love, which was premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2014 and ran on Broadway the next year. The New Fromm Players performed new works to critical acclaim as Ensemble- In- Residence of renowned composer Bright Sheng's contemporary music festival, The Intimacy of Creativity 2015, in Hong Kong.

A fierce advocate of new music, she has premiered works by Gunther Schuller, Toshio Hosokawa, Oliver Knussen, John Cage, George Benjamin, Augusta Read Thomas, and Philip Glass. Ms. Bennett is the cofounder, along with percussionist George Nickson, of ensemblen ewSRQ, a new music collective based in Sarasota, FL. Dedicated to innovative programming and thoughtfully curated concerts, ensemble newSRQ's 2016-17 season comprises five programs throughout the year including two in collaboration with Alfstadt& Contemporary art gallery. Born in Ames, Iowa, Ms. Bennett completed her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees at the New England Conservatory in Boston studying with Donald Weilerstein and Malcolm Lowe.