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Faculty of Music



Composer and Musicologist
Academic Supervisor, Wolfson College
Director, Cambridge University Experimental Music Ensemble (CUEME)

Available for consultancy



Saman Samadi, a Persian-American composer, performer, and musicologist, has garnered acclaim for his diverse musical works spanning nearly two decades. From orchestral and chamber to solo and electroacoustic pieces, his compositions have resonated globally, performed across the Middle East, the Far East, Europe, and the United States. His research focuses on contemporary Western art music and Persian classical music, excelling in new compositional methods and musical experimentalism. Committed to interdisciplinary connections, he integrates creative practices with scholarly pursuits in cultural studies, (ethno)musicology, theory, and philosophy.

In Samadi's compositional practice, a synthesis of complexity and expressive depth emerges, drawing inspiration from artists such as Brian Ferneyhough, Michael Finnissy, James Dillon, and Chris Dench. Samadi's music showcases a complex yet poetic and multidimensional terrain, interweaving elements from Persian music, poetry, language, visual arts, and postmodern philosophy. Through innovative notations and a fluid interpretative approach, his compositions embrace the complexities of linguistic discourse. His compositional approach incorporates microtonal modes derived from Persian classical music, creating a new pitch space that infuses his works with intricate layers of heterophonic texture, polyrhythms, and polymeters, all conveyed through a sophisticated method of musical notation that enables fidelity. Innovatively reimagining Persian calligraphic letterforms, Samadi integrates them as both a visual concept and a structural foundation for his compositions. This method informs the sonic texture, instrumentation, and elements of duration, blending harmoniously with his unique Persian modal-rhizomatic approach. Samadi's artistic endeavors reflect a polymathic sensibility, forging bridges between disparate artistic disciplines and pushing the boundaries of both Persian classical music and contemporary Western art music.

As a music scholar, Samadi's research spans interdisciplinary realms, focusing on complex musical expression, cross-disciplinary research, new compositional methods, non-Western musical systems, contemporary improvisation, performance practice of new music, experimental music, poststructuralism, Deleuze and Guattari, semiotics, music and identity, linguistics, aesthetics of modernism and postmodernism, conceptual history, complexity, music notation, and their intersections. His academic pursuits demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the interplay between culture, language, and sonic expression, offering a balanced blend of erudition and creativity. Samadi's scholarship sheds light on modern music's evolving landscape, exploring cultural, sociopolitical aspects and reflecting on its implications for the human experience.

Samadi began his intellectual pursuits at NODET, an esteemed institution for mathematical prodigies in Iran, where he received a degree in Mathematics and Physics. He further pursued studies in Philosophy and Critical Thinking, as well as Artistic Research at Orpheus Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance and a Master of Arts in Composition from the University of Tehran, where he studied under composer Alireza Mashayekhi. Samadi served as the director of the Concentus Orchestra, a dynamic ensemble comprised of musicians from the Tehran Music Conservatory and the University of Tehran, from 2006 to 2009. His talent was recognized when he won first prize at the 2012 Counterpoint-Italy International Composition Competition, and his work was chosen for premiere at the 2014 New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival.

From 2013 to 2020, Samadi actively participated in the vibrant experimental music scene in New York City. In 2018, he formed the Saman Samadi Quintet, bringing together talented alumni from the Manhattan School of Music. He has also led two other ensembles based in New York City: the Apām Napāt Trio and the Aži Trio. Recognizing his contributions to the performing arts, in particular, as an experimental music improviser, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) awarded him an Artist Diploma in 2015.

Samadi has served as the Editorial Officer for the Wolfson Research Event at Cambridge and is actively engaged in reviewing manuscripts for reputable journals, such as the Journal for Artistic Research. He is the founder and director of the Cambridge University Experimental Music Ensemble. Samadi earned his PhD at the University of Cambridge, where his academic prowess was recognized and supported through his appointment as a Grantham Scholar and concurrent role as President of the Wolfson College Music Society. His doctoral research was under Richard Causton and Peter McMurray. Currently, Samadi serves as an academic supervisor at the Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge.


composition, musicology, ethnomusicology, aesthetics of modernism & postmodernism, complexity, poststructuralism
new compositional methods, performance practice of new music, language and music, semiotics, music and identity music notation, experimental music, Persian music, Persian philosophy, conceptual history, Deleuze and Guattari


Key publications: 


  • 'Becoming Persian Music: A Poststructuralist Approach to Composition' (Apollo - University of Cambridge Repository), 2023. <>

  • [Book] Becoming Persian Music, (Publisher TBC).
  • Rejuvenating Persian Music: Actualising Difference in a Glocalised Context, Journal of the Royal Musical Association.
  • Persian Modal-Rhizomatic Composition, Journal for Artistic Research.
  • Persian Poststructural Music Complexity, Tempo, Cambridge University Press.
  • A Comparative Study on Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Klavierstück X, Perspective of New Music.

  • Persian Prosodic Composition, PhD Music Forum, University of Cambridge, May 24, 2023.
  • Persian Modal-Rhizomatic Composition, Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum, City University of London,
    May 31, 2023. Link
  • Thus Spoke Earth, Cambridge Music Faculty's Composers' Workshop, with Morgan-Dullea Duo, Mar 8, 2022.
  • Complexity in Musical Works of Stockhausen and Samadi, Wolfson College Music Society, Musical Encounters, University of Cambridge, November 17, 2021.
  • Through a Veil: a composition for wind quintet and fixed media, Cambridge Music Faculty's Composers' Workshop, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, University of Cambridge, May 1, 2021.
  • Vāyuvēra: a composition for violin, cello, and piano, The 2021 British Forum for Ethnomusicology and Royal Musical Association Research Conference, with Amatis Piano Trio, University of Cambridge, Jan 14, 2021.
  • An Introduction to Post-Pars Modal Music: A New Approach to Microtonality, Performing, Engaging, Knowing, organised by ICTM Study Group on Applied Ethnomusicology, and MDW, August 26-29, 2020. Link
  • Music of Saman Samadi, Guest Lecturer, Doctoral Seminar, Manhattan School of Music, NY, Nov 18, 2016.
  • Persia 1909: for 4 improvisers, New Music Performance Practice Workshop, Stony Brook SUNY, USA, April 22, 2014.
  • Unfolding Samadi's Symphony in Three Movements, Seminar, University of Tehran, September 22, 2009.

  • Brian Ferneyhough: Aspects of Notation and Composition (in Persian), Baru Magazine Vol. 6. July 2021. Link
  • Asha: The Rebirth of Tragedy (in Persian), Baru Magazine Vol. 5, Shamlou Org. June 2021. Link
  • Post-Pars Modal Music (in Persian), Baru Magazine Vol. 4, Shamlou Org. April 2021. Link
  • A Smooth and Rhizomatic Pitch-Space (in Persian), Baru Magazine Vol. 3, Shamlou Org. March 2021. Link
  • Glocality of Difference (in Persian), Baru Magazine Vol. 2, Shamlou Org. February 2021. Link
  • An Analytical Study on Pierre Boulez’s Le Marteau sans maitre, Research Catalogue, 2020. Link
  • Nostalgia, Artistic Exposition, Research Catalogue, 2019. Link


  • Hashemi, Amin, Interview with Saman Samadi, “The Bilateral Dynamics of Subjectivity and Creativity of Iranian Musicians in Europe”, University of Aberdeen (forthcoming).
  • Boroumand Yazdi, Reihaneh, Interview with Saman Samadi, “Le mandala, entre mystique persane et modernité: répéter un monde éternel ou créer des mondes possibles?” [The mandala, between Persian mysticism and modernity: repeating an eternal world or creating possible worlds?], Déméter. Théories & pratiques artistiques contemporaines, Université de Lille, #7, 2022.
  • Broumand, Reyhan, Interview with Saman Samadi, “Le choc de la déviation de la tradition dans la musique électroacoustique iranienne” Seminar. Semaine Internationale de la Musique Électroacoustique, LILLIAD de l’Université de Lille - Sciences et Technologies, Lille, April 24, 2019.
  • Broumand, Reyhan, Interview with Saman Samadi, “Entre passé et avenir: Les deux rôles des instruments acoustiques dans la musique électroacoustique iranienne.” Seminar. Semaine Internationale de la Musique Électroacoustique, LILLIAD de l’Université de Lille - Sciences et Technologies, Lille, April 20, 2018.
  • Broumand, Reyhan, Interview with Saman Samadi, “L’impact de la tradition dans la création contemporaine: un regard sur la musique électroacoustique iranienne” Seminar. Semaine Internationale de la Musique Électroacoustique, LILLIAD de l’Université de Lille - Sciences et Technologies, Lille, April 28, 2017.


Thus Spoke Earth, for violin and piano and fixed media, duration: 25' (Cambridge: 2021)

Shattering in Seven Pieces for Dream and Wedding and Death, for string quartet, duration: 14' (Cambridge: 2022

Vāyuvēra, for piano trio, duration: 18' (Cambridge: 2021)

RECORDING: Album (duration: 56') Performed by Saman Samadi, Junya Makino, Polly Almond, Sarah Henderson, Nicky Swett, & Kristin Barone-Samadi, (Cambridge: June 5, 2023).

Through a Veil, for wind quintet and fixed media, duration: 9' (Cambridge: 2021) [fl., ob., cl., hrn., bsn., fixed media]

RECORDING: by Saman Samadi Collective (N.Anton Dromia, 2021).

Aša, for flute, duration: 8' (New York City, USA - Cambridge, UK: 2020-2021)ša

RECORDING: Saman Samadi, Asha, performed by Mehrdad Gholami, in Pieces for the Flute (Tehran: Mahoor, 2021).

Avec Boulez, Mallarmé, et Foucault, for ensemble, duration: 45' (Cambridge: 2022) [fl., cl., 2sax., str., gtr., pno., 2vox.]
PERFORMANCES: Cambridge University Experimental Music Ensemble (dir. Saman Samadi)


The Gāthās for Piano, a series of piano works, total duration hitherto: 20' (New York: 2018-2019)

  • December 8, 2020. , Jonathan Powell, Meetings of New Music, Janáček Academy (JAMU), Brno, Czech Republic.
  • March 5, 2020. Jonathan Powell, Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland.
  • November 15, 2019. Jonathan Powell, The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (HAMU), Prague, Czech.
  • October 26, 2019. Jonathan Powell, NeoArte Festival, Gdansk, Poland. 
  • June 3, 2019. Jared Redmond, Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea.
  • February 15, 2019.Jared Redmond, The San Francisco Center for New Music, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Tears' Scratch, for two violins, duration: 8'20" (New York: 2012) — RECORDING: Performed by Miranda Cuckson & Austin Wulliman (New York: Samadis' Records, 2018)

Ānam Ārezust, for ensemble, duration: 5'20" (Cambridge: 2020)ānam-ārezust

Scheherazade, for saxophone quartet, duration: 6'30" (New York: 2017)

PERFORMANCE: LX Saxophone Quartet. June 22, 2017, Lincoln Center, New York, NY, USA.

RECORDING: LX Saxophone Quartet (New York: Samadis' Records, 2017)

Bazzad, for violin and symphony orchestra, duration: 12' (Tehran: 2012) 

RECORDING: vln. Jaram Kim, SBSO, dir. Timothy Long, (SUNY: May 6, 2014).

Paj, for flute and piano, duration: 14' (New York: 2011)

  • Nicole Camacho & Kristin Barone-Samadi.  April 8, 2014, Staller Center, Stony Brook University, NY, USA.
  • Linda Wetherill, and Kristin Barone-Samadi. December 16, 2012, RCC Rutherford, NJ, USA.
  • Linda Wetherill, and Kristin Barone-Samadi. December 2, 2012, Culturefix, New York, NY, USA.
  • L’ ensemble ECHO. June 29, 2012, Museum of modern art André Malraux (MuMa), Le Harve, France.

RECORDING: Performed by Linda Wetherill and Kristin Barone-Samadi (New York: Samadis' Records, 2018).

Mira, for violin and electronics, duration: 12'33" (New York, 2019)

PERFORMANCE/PUBLICATION: By its dedicatee Miranda Cuckson (forthcoming).

Chamrosh, a collection of four works for saxophone, total duration: 47' (New York: 2015-2016)

Lecture-Performance: Anthony Izzo (sax.), & Saman Samadi (pno.), ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, NY, USA, July 29, 2015.

RECORDING: Album - Chamrosh, ​​for tenor saxophone (2016); I-V-complex No.1, for alto saxophone and piano (2015); I-V-complex No.2, for saxophone quartet (2015); Before Your Very Eyes, for saxophone and piano (2015);
(New York: Samadis' Records, 2018).

Microtonal Piano Solos, a collection of nine microtonal piano pieces, total duration: 55' (New York: 2015)

RECORDING: Album - by S. Samadi (NY: Samadis' Records).

Teryan, for violin and piano, duration: 8' (New York: 2014)  

RECORDING: Performed by Saman Samadi & Kristin Samadi (New York, 2014).

Persia 1909, for 4 improvising performers, duration: 10' (New York: 2014)

RECORDING: Laura Smith (ob.), Erika Dohi (pno.), Mark Utley & Elizabeth Dorman (perc.) (New York, 2018).

Nostalgia, five multimedia compositions (electroacoustic music & video art), total duration: 44' (NYC: 2015-2016)

  • Cambridge Festival. April 8, 2022, West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, UK.
  • Medium Fest Electroacoustic. May 5, 2020, Rasht Multimedia Festival, Rasht, Iran.
  • Tehran International Electroacoustic Music Festival, Yarava Music Group. June 8, 2018, Da Theatre House.
  • An den Kleinen Radioapparat. September 30, 2016, The Firehouse Space, Brooklyn, NY, USA.
  • Lethal #7—Last Saturdays Salon, Concrete Timbre. Nov 19, 2016, The Drawing Room, New York, NY, USA.

RECORDINGS: Album - Saman Samadi (New York: Samadis' Records, 2018).

Impromptus, a collection of six multimedia works (piano, electronics, & video-art), duration: 6' (New York: 2017)


Shekasteh Mouyeh, a collection of nine multimedia compositions, total duration: 62' (New York: 2015)

PERFORMANCE: Saman Samadi, pianist, vocalist, video & sound artist, Spectrum NYC, May 23, 2015.

RECORDINGS: Album - (New York: Samadis' Records, 2016)

U-Turn, a collection of five multimedia compositions, total duration: 50'12" (Tehran: 2010-2014)

  • Magnapinna, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF), Abrons Arts Center, June 2, 2014.
  • Magnapinna, Sonic Spring, Staller Center, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY, USA, April 11, 2014.
  • Amiri, An Electroacoustic Music Event, Harvestworks, New York, NY, USA, January 14, 2014.
  • Qatār-e Arvāh, An Electroacoustic Music Event, Queens College, CUNY, USA, December 4, 2012.

RECORDING: Album - (New York: Samadis' Records, 2015).

Aži Trio (New York: 2019-2020) S. Samadi, founder, leader, & pianist; S. Manning, saxophonist; H. Tammen, buchla-player.

PERFORMANCE: NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, December 6, 2019, Waverly Building, NYU, New York, NY, USA.

RECORDINGS: Saman Samadi, leader & video artist (New York, 2019-2020).ži-trio

The Saman Samadi Quintet, voice, percussion, trumpet, double bass, piano & electronics (New York: 2018-2019)

  • January 7, 2019, with Jorge Nuno, at Bushwick Improvised Music Series, Brooklyn, NY, USA.
  • January 3, 2019, Areté Venue, Brooklyn, NY, USA.
  • November 17, 2018, St John's in The Village, Manhattan, NY, USA.
  • October 23, 2018, National Sawdust, Brooklyn, NY, USA.


Apām Napāt Trio, cl./sax., buchla, pno & voice (New York: 2016-2020) S. Samadi, founder, leader, pianist & vocalist.

  • Faculty Concert. March 28, 2019, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, City University of New York, NY, USA.
  • Apām Napāt Trio at Scholes. July 7, 2018, Scholes Street Studio, Brooklyn, NY, USA.
  • COMA. February 21, 2016, ABC No-Rio, Manhattan, NY, USA.
  • Apām Napāt Trio, with Jorge Nuno. January 28, 2016, The Firehouse Space, Brooklyn, NY, USA.

RECORDING: Album - Āpām Napāt: 16 pieces (NY: Samadis' Records, 2016).ām-napāt-trio

Sound and Fury, for chamber orchestra, duration: 14' (New York: 2012) []


Fog & Fugue, for guitar, duration: 7' (Tehran: 2007)

  • Dan Keene, Guitar Recital at RCC. November 8, 2013, Rutherford, NJ, USA.
  • Mansoor Habibdoost, Guitar Recital at Avini Hall. May 19, 2008, University of Tehran, Iran.

RECORDING: Saman Samadi, Fog & Fugue, Performed by Dan Keene (Rutherford, 2013).

Symphony in Three Movements, for large orchestra, duration: 20' (Tehran: 2009)

Camisado, for chamber ensemble, duration: 9' (Tehran: 2007)

PERFORMANCE: Concentus Orchestra, conductor: Saman Samadi, Roudaki Hall, Tehran, Iran, April 29, 2007.

Sheyda, for string orchestra, duration: 3'32" (Terhan: 2006)

PERFORMANCES: Concentus Orchestra, conductor: Saman Samadi. Roudaki Hall, Tehran, Iran, April 29, 2007.
Avini Hall, University of Tehran, Iran, November 18, 2006.ā

Apadana's Amphora, for piano, duration: 7' (Tehran: 2008) Perf. Kiana Shafiei, Art University of Tehran, Apr 22, 2009.

Contact Details

Saman Samadi
Wolfson College
Barton Rd, Cambridge