David S. Sampson

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This article is about the American composer. For articles on other people named David Sampson or Dave Sampson, see David Sampson (disambiguation).

David Sampson (born January 26, 1951) is an American composer. He is uniquely acclaimed for the integrity of his music. Sampson’s work has been described as intensely honest and human, taking his audiences through rich experiences filled with depth and emotion.

Sampson was born in Charlottesville North Carolina and is currently living in New Jersey. He began his career as a trumpet player and is now a leading composer. Sampson holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, Hunter College, Manhattan School of Music, and the Écoles d'Art Américaines. His music is published by Editions BIM, Cantate Press and David Sampson Music. He has served on the Board of the Composers Guild of New Jersey and the Advisory Board of the Bergen Foundation.

Among Sampson’s chamber music works are: Dectet (Chicago Chamber Musicians), Strata (National Endowment for the Arts/American Brass), Breathing Lessons (Chamber America/Amherst Saxophone) and Short Stories (Chamber Music America/Pew Charitable Trust/Aspen Wind Quintet).

His orchestral works include The War Prayer (soloists, chorus and orchestra), Hommage JFK (orchestra), Monument (orchestra), Turns (violoncello and orchestra), Jersey Rain (solo baritone, chorus and orchestra), Simple Lives (orchestra), and Triptych (trumpet and orchestra). These works have been commissioned and performed by orchestras including the National Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Akron Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, American Composers Orchestra, National Endowment for the Arts, Bergen Foundation, Dodge Foundation, and Barlow Endowment, among others.


  • The Skein for Soprano and Piano, 1973
  • Fanfare for Canterbury Cathedral for Double Brass Quintet, 1978
  • The Mysteries Remain for Trumpet and Piano, 1979
  • O Blessed Face for Flute, Harp, Organ and Chorus, 1978
  • Permit Me Voyage for Viola and Piano, 1978
  • Passage for Viola and Flugelhorn, 1979
  • Flashback for Percussion Quartet, 1980
  • Litany of Breath for Solo Trumpet:, 1980
  • The Endless Instant for Clarinet and Percussion, 1980
  • Cuttings for Piano, 1980
  • The Notes Fit To Print for Orchestra, 1980
  • Trumpet Descants on Festive Hymns, 1981
  • In Memoriam: W.E.S. for Woodwind Quintet, 1981
  • Peace for a cappella Chorus,1981
  • Flight for Three Trumpets, 1982
  • The Birthday for Soprano, Oboe, Violincello and Harp, 1982
  • Winter Ceremony for Two Trumpets and Percussion, 1983
  • Trumpet Descants on Christmas Hymns, 1983
  • Nine Times Mime for Oboe, Harp and Percussion, 1983
  • The War Prayer (1984-5) One-Act Opera for Six Soloists, SATB Chorus and Chamber Orchestra, 1984-5
  • Behold How Good and Lovely It Is for Chorus and Organ, 1984
  • Four Scenes and an Epilogue for Soprano, String Quartet and Harp, 1984
  • Echoes and Other Ghosts for Brass Quintet, 1986
  • Morning Music for Brass Quintet, 1986
  • Three Christmas Scenes for Flute/Picc., Oboe/English Horn, Violoncello, Piano and Chorus, 1987
  • Points for Brass Octet and Percussion, 1983 rev 1987
  • In Time for Bass Trombone, Piano and Percussion, 1988
  • The Song My Paddle Sings for Chorus a cappella, 1987
  • The Figured Wheel for Soprano, Oboe/English Horn, Bassoon and Piano, 1988
  • Reflections on a Dance for Fourteen Brass and Two Percussion, 1988
  • Our Father’s Road: A Cantata for New Sweden for Narrator, Soprano, Oboe/English Horn, Violoncello, Piano and Percussion, *1989
  • Three Portraits for Tuba Solo and Chamber Orchestra, 1990
  • Distant Voices for Brass Quintet, 1990
  • Simple Lives for Orchestra, 1990
  • Triptych for Trumpet Solo and Orchestra, 1991
  • Solo for Flugelhorn unaccompanied, 1991
  • Four Winds for Wind Quartet, 1991
  • Sonata Forty for Horn and Piano, 1991
  • Without Warning for Piano, 1992
  • Shout for Joy! for Brass Quartet, Organ and Choir, 1992
  • Three Arguments for unaccompanied Violoncello, 1993
  • Westfield Fanfare for Thirteen Brass and Three Percussion, 1993
  • Short Stories for Wind Quintet, 1994
  • Emma’s Dance for Tuba and Piano, 1994
  • Praise! for Choir and Organ, 1994
  • Turns for Violoncello and Orchestra, 1994
  • Evensong for Tuba and Computer, 1995
  • Hommage JFK for Fourteen Brass and Three Percussion, 1995
  • Monument for Orchestra, 1996–97
  • Voices of Our Youth for Flute, Viola, Violoncello, Harp and Chorus, 1997
  • Serenade for Flugelhorn and String Orchestra, 1998
  • Dectet for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon, Piano, 2 Violins, Viola, Violoncello, and Double Bass, 1998
  • Strata for Brass Quintet:, 1999
  • Notes from Faraway Places: Three Suites of Concert Etudes for one or two Trumpets, 2000
  • Concerto for Dancers and String Orchestra, 2000
  • The Elements for String Quartet, 2001
  • Jersey Rain for Baritone Solo, Chorus and Orchestra, 2001
  • Duncan Trio for Brass Trio, 2002
  • Breathing Lessons for Saxophone Quartet, 2002
  • Concerto for Oboe and String Orchestra, 2003
  • Moving Parts for Wind Ensemble, 2003
  • New Providence Overture for Orchestra, 2003
  • Entrance/Exit for Brass Quintet, 2003
  • Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and String Orchestra, 2004
  • Breakaway for Two Trumpets and Electronics, 2004
  • Serenata for Tuba and Wind Ensemble, 2005
  • Breathing Lessons' for String Quartet, 2006
  • Serenade for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble, 2006
  • Outburst for Wind Ensemble, 2006
  • Sketches for Violin and Marimba, 2007
  • Morning Pages for Trumpet unaccompanied, 2005–07
  • A Vanished World for Flute unaccompanied, 2007, 2007[1]
  • Millbrook Suite for Wind Ensemble, 2008 [2]