Sam Hayden (b. Portsmouth, UK, 1968) studied composition with Martin Butler, Michael Finnissy and Jonathan Harvey (University of Sussex). He also studied with Joseph Dubiel and David Rakowski (Columbia University) and Louis Andriessen (Den Haag Conservatorium).
In 1995, he was awarded first prize in the Benjamin Britten International Competition (mv for orchestra) and won the composition prize of the 4th Gaudeamus International Young Composers' Meeting 1998. Sunk Losses for orchestra won first prize in the Christoph Delz Foundation Composers' Competition and was premiered by the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra during the festival Musik im 21. Jahrhundert, in Saarbrücken in 2003. 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 at Stanford University in the autumn of 2001. He also completed a three-year AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts in 2005.
His works have been performed widely in the UK and on the European continent at various contemporary music festivals: Collateral Damage (1999) for ensemble, commissioned for the Faber Music Millennium Series, was premiered by Kokoro in 2000, and performed subsequently by the Ensemble Intercontemporain (Pompidou Centre, Paris, 2003) and the London Sinfonietta (Bath Festival, 2003); Substratum (2006) for large orchestra, commissioned by BBC Radio 3, was premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra during the 2007 BBC Proms season and later performed at the Barbican Centre, London, in 2008; Emergence (2004) for solo accordion, ensemble and live electronics, commissioned for Frode Haltli and the Oslo Sinfonietta, was performed at the 2004 Ultima and Huddersfield festivals, and during Warsaw Autumn 2010;Relative Autonomy (2004), commissioned for the London Sinfonietta, was premiered at a BBC invitation concert at LSO St Luke's, London, and later performed at the Berlin Philharmonie during MaerzMusik in 2005. Other recent commissions include Le Retour à la Raison (2003) for percussion solo with live electronics, for Miguel Bernat of Ictus; system/error (2005) for flute, violin and percussion, for Anne La Berge, Mieko Kanno and Claire Edwardes; impetus (2005) for solo percussion, for Claire Edwardes; schismatics (2007) for solo electric violin and computer, for Mieko Kanno; Die Modularitäten (Modularities) (2007) for Ensemble Mosaik of Berlin; and permutazioni / a caso (2009) for RepertorioZero of Milan. Sam's works have been recorded on the Divine Art, GROB, NMC, Oboe Classics and UTS labels. A portrait CD of his works is currently in preparation, also on the NMC label.
From 2003 until 2005, Sam worked in the University of Sussex as an AHRC Research Fellow on a research project entitled Confrontation or Collaboration? The interactions between composer and performer in the early 21st century. Sam is currently working on a quartet for the ELISION Ensemble Australia, and on an AHRC-funded practice-led research project with Dr Mieko Kanno (Durham University) and Dr Nick Collins (University of Sussex) entitled Live Performance, the Interactive Computer and the Violectra.