Saman Samadi (b.1984) is a contemporary Persian composer and performer residing in New York City. For over a decade, his work has been performed internationally—in the mid & far East, Europe, and on both coasts of the U.S. His prolific repertoire of orchestral, chamber, solo and electro-acoustic music has been performed and recorded by many musicians, including: Miranda Cuckson, Austin Wulliman, Linda Wetherill, Anthony Izzo, Kristin Samadi, Ensemble ECHO, Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, Jaram Kim, Erika Dohi, Dan Keene, and Jared Redmond.
Samadi's works have been extensively performed at numerous venues, among them, Lincoln Center, SpectrumNYC, The Firehouse Space, Abrons Arts Center, LeFrak Concert Hall at The Aaron Copland School of Music, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Scholes Street Studio, ShapeShifter Lab, Harvestworks, Drawing Room, Sky Gallery, The San Francisco Center for Music, Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook, Hanyang University of Seoul, South Korea, The Museum of Modern Art André Malraux (MuMa) in Le Havre, Avini Hall at the University of Tehran, and Roudaki Hall, Iran’s most prestigious music space.
Samadi has been active in New York City’s downtown scene performing there since 2015. Most recently, Saman formed the Saman Samadi Quintet, an improvisational collaboration with various alumni from the Manhattan School of Music. In 2016, Samadi invited German Buchla player, Hans Tammen, and American clarinetist Blaise Siwula to collaborate in structured, yet free, improvisational performances, which led to the formation of the Āpām Napāt Trio. The trio performs around town.
Saman Samadi’s music was inspired early by those composers who are known under the rubric “New Complexity” (James Dillon, Brian Ferneyhough, Richard Barret, and Michael Finnissy); however, in 2010, he developed his own unique compositional method, one which entails a new system of pitch organization, using microtonal scales derived from traditional Persian modal music, multilayered textures, complex polyrhythms, and polymeter; all traced within a detailed system of musical notation permitting replication. An interest in electroacoustic music led him to prepare 30 pieces from which four albums have so far resulted. Saman has recorded several albums of music, including Microtonal Piano Solos, Shekasteh Mouyeh, U-Turn, Paj, Scheherazade, Tears’ Scratch, Āpām Napāt, Chamrosh, and Nostalgia.
Samadi received his degree in mathematics from NODET, an Iranian educational institution for mathematical prodigies. He then entered the University of Tehran as an undergraduate student in Music Performance, where he earned his Masters’ degree in Music Composition. While studying there, Alireza Mashayekhi, an internationally regarded composer who also utilizes the Persian microtone system in his work, became his teacher. Mashayekhi has deeply influenced Saman’s musical sensibilities, and his mentorship lit the flame that kindled in Saman his abiding passion for modern music.
From 2006-2009, Samadi was the director and conductor of the Concentus Chamber Orchestra, a mix of musicians from the Tehran Conservatory of Music and the University of Tehran. Their repertory incorporated Baroque and contemporary works, including Saman’s own compositions.
In 2009, Samadi won an award for one of his chamber music compositions at the 24th Fajr International Music Festival. His composition “Paj,” won first prize at the 2012 Counterpoint-Italy International Composition Competition. His work, “Magnapinna in Abdomen of a Newborn,” was selected for a premiere at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival in June 2014. In 2015, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) awarded Samadi an Artist Diploma in Multimedia and Performing Arts.
Upon completing his M.A. in Tehran, Samadi was offered a full scholarship for a Ph.D. in composition at the State University of New York in 2013. While at SUNY, he studied with Daria Semegen, an award-winning American composer. Saman was also her assistant at the analog studio of electronic music which Semegn designed, there, in collaboration with Bülent Arel, in the 1970s. During that same year up to 2017, Saman acted as an assistant to Dr. Sandra Sprecher, director of the contemporary music venue, The Firehouse Space in Brooklyn, New York. Saman is the director and co-founder of the Samadis’ organization, a contemporary music record label based in New York City. The Samadis’ label also organizes an annual international composition competition and concert series. Samadi is currently on the faculty at the Music School of New York City, as well as the Piano School of NYC.