Tal Samuel

Described as a daring, authentic and versatile young conductor by American and Israeli press, conductor Tal Samuel is fast earning a reputation as a promising talent conducting from the pit and on the concert hall stage.  Her recent work and performances won her prizes by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, the Sylvia Borger Fund and a grant for a promising young conductor by the Haifa Symphony Orchestra Foundation.

Most recently, Samuel was invited to work with Maestro Bernard Haitink and the Lucerne Strings Festival Orchestra at the renewed KKL concert hall in Switzerland following her successful audition with the orchestra. She was also invited to work with Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas and conducted the New World Symphony at the New World Center in Miami.

This summer, Samuel was named 2017 Mahler Conducting Fellow by the International Gustav Mahler Society Gold Medal recipient, Colorado Mahler Festival. She was invited to conduct Mahler’s “Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen” and the rarely performed Mahler 10th. Symphony during the festival’s 30th. anniversary celebrations.

In the 2017-2018 season, Samuel will be one of 12 conductors chosen among numerous applicants worldwide to participate in the prestigious German Conductors’ Award International Competition in Germany.  She will be performing with the the WDR Sinfonieorchester, Oper Köln and Gürzenich Orchester Köln at the famous Kölner Philharmonie concert hall in Cologne.

Starting this upcoming season, Samuel will join Chicago Sinfonietta as part of their Project Inclusion Conducting Fellowship, working closely with Music Director Mei-Ann Chen, guest conductors and musicians of the Sinfonietta.

Additional engagements include debuts with orchestras and new music ensembles in North America, Europe and Israel.

Tal Samuel has been assistant conductor at the Opera and Ballet Theater in Bloomington Indiana since 2015.  Recent productions she has worked on with the company include: La Fille Du Régiment, Così Fan Tutte, Dead Man Walking, Oklahoma!, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.  In 2014 she was invited to conduct three subscription concerts of Balanchine’s iconic ballet Emeralds, while working closely with renewed ballerina and ballet master Violette Verdy.  In 2016 she was reinvited to work with JSoM Ballet company, conducting “Saudade” – a world premier by choreographer Sasha Janes, Balanchine’s “Divertimento” and “As Time Goes By” by Twayla Tharp.

Samuel is the founder and Music Director of the Meytar Music Festival (MMF) in Israel. The summer festival which has been taking place since its establishment in 2010, aims to bring classical music to diverse communities living in peripheral areas across Israel. It consists of a mobile chamber orchestra whose performances under Samuel’s baton were highly praised for their exceptional level and were widely recognized for their contribution to the community.

Samuel’s recent conducting engagements include orchestras such as the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Gürzenich Orchester Köln, Lucerne Strings Festival Orchestra, New World Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestra, Berlin Sinfonietta, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Israeli Chamber Orchestra, Israel Sinfonieta Bee’r-Sheva Orchestra, the Herzliya Chamber Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra (IN), Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Scottish Conservatory Orchestra, Jacobs School of Music orchestras, Carter Symphony Orchestra, The Buchmann-Mehta Symphony Orchestra and others.

Tal Samuel was invited to participated in highly prestigious and selective conducting master classes. She was mentored by Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson Thomas, Jorma Panula, Yoel Levi, Asher Fisch, Carl St. Clair and Cliff Colnot.  Last summer, she was invited to take part in the Cabrillo Music Festival of Contemporary Music, working and performing with conductors Marin Alsop and James Ross.

Tal Samuel was born in Haifa, Israel. She studied piano since the age of six and viola since the age of ten with the latter becoming her main instrument.  As an accomplished violist, she has performed with various chamber groups and orchestras in her home country and abroad and played under conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Helmuth Rilling and others.

Samuel holds a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and a Bachelor’s degree in Orchestral conducting, minoring in viola performance and composition form Tel-Aviv University.  She is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the Jacobs School of Music where she studied under the tutelage of Arthur Fagen and David Effron.