Sam Hayden studied composition with Martin Butler, Jonathan Harvey and Michael Finnissy at the University of Sussex, Joseph Dubiel and David Rakowski at Columbia University, and Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory Den Haag.
He has been the recipient of many prizes and awards including first prize in the 1995 Benjamin Britten International Competition (“mv” for orchestra, 1991/92) and the composition prize of the 4th Gaudeamus International Young Composers’ Meeting 1998. He was awarded a summer 2000 residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, and a Fulbright Chester Schirmer Fellowship for Music Composition enabling him to work with Brian Ferneyhough and Chris Chafe at Stanford University in the autumn of 2001. He was also granted a 3-year Fellowship by the Arts and Humanities Research Board. “Sunk Losses” for orchestra, composed during a residency at the Akademie Schloss Solitude Stuttgart in 2002, won first prize in the second Christoph Delz Foundation Composers’ Competition and received its first performance, by the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra during the festival Musik im 21. Jahrhundert, in Saarbrücken in May 2003.
Hayden’s music has been widely performed in the UK and on the European continent. Performers have included the Asko Ensemble, Ensemble Antidogma, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Canto Battuto, Ensemble Cattrall, ELISION, De Ereprijs, Ensemble Ernst, Ensemble Exposé, Gruppe für Neue Musik Baden, IGNM Zürich, Kokoro, London Sinfonietta, Mats Scheidegger, Ensemble Mosaik, NYYD Ensemble, RNCM Wind Orchestra, Steamboat Switzerland, Ensemble Surplus and Orkest de Volharding.
Numerous international festivals have featured Hayden’s music: Aldeburgh, Bath, Brighton, ‘Meltdown’ and ‘State of the Nation’ at the Southbank Centre London, ‘The Cutting Edge’ London, BBC Proms, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, ISCM World Music Days, Gaudeamus Music Week, ‘Ultima’ Oslo, BIG Torino Biennale Arte Emergente, Tage für Neue Musik Zürich, Rumor Festival Utrecht, Gaida Festival Vilnius, ‘Time of Music’ Viitasaari, NYYD Festival Tallin, Ars Musica Brussels, Bludenzer Tage für zeitgemässe Musik, MaerzMusik Berlin and the Warsaw Autumn.
“dB [i-vii]” for Hammond organ/synthesizer, bass guitar and drum kit performed by Steamboat Switzerland is available on the German label GROB, and a recording of “Partners in Psychopathology“ by the Composers Ensemble is available from NMC. A portrait disc of works performed by Ensemble Mosaik, ELISION, Mieko Kanno and other soloists is also available from NMC.
The most recent performances of Hayden’s Faber Music Millennium Series commission, “Collateral Damage” (1999), were given by the Ensemble Intercontemporain in the Centre Georges Pompidou Paris and the London Sinfonietta at the Bath Festival. In 2001 Hayden was commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and Braunarts to compose the music for “3D Music”, a work for interactive music and computer graphics, in collaboration with digital artist Eduardo Carrillo.
Subsequent commissions have included “Le Retour à la Raison” for solo percussion and live electronics for the Ictus Ensemble, “Emergence” for solo accordion, ensemble and electronics for Frode Haltli and the Oslo Sinfonietta, “Relative Autonomy” for the London Sinfonietta, “system/error” for Anne La Berge, Mieko Kanno and Claire Edwardes, “Impetus” for solo percussion for Claire Edwardes, “Substratum” for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, “schismatics II” for solo electric violin and computer for Mieko Kanno, “Die Modularitäten” for Ensemble Mosaik, “Permutazioni / a caso” for amplified ensemble for RepertorioZero and “misguided” for four players, receiving its world première by ELISION at the ABC’s Iwaki Auditorium Melbourne, in March 2011. “surface / tension” for solo oboe and ensemble was performed by Christopher Redgate and CIKADA at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in November 2012.
Hayden was appointed Reader in Composition at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in October 2013.
He is represented by Graham Hayter of Contemporary Music Promotions (CMP), an agency representing both composers and performers.