About Samuel

Samuel Durand is a young artist passionate about creating music rich with beauty.

Born and raised in Central Arkansas, Samuel studied piano from a young age at the Searcy Community School of Music under Dr. Scott Carrell. During high school, he served as the principal pianist for the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra, and twice won the Sam O’ Driggers Piano Festival at the University of Central Arkansas. In 2020, he recorded selections of C.P.E. Bach’s works on the fortepiano for the Packard Humanities Institute. He recently graduated from the Longy School of Music of Bard College, where he studied with Grammy-nominated pianist Andrius Zlabys.

As a composer, Samuel’s first piece to be publicly premiered was “El Morro Castle” – which was performed in 2017 by the ASU Beebe symphonic band. In collaboration with flutist Anna McLeran, he performed his piece for flute and piano titled “Through Night Trees” for the Music Teachers Association of Central Arkansas and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Guild in 2019. His piece for solo piano – “Reminiscence” – was premiered at Harding University in 2020, and went on to become a national finalist in the 2020 MTNA composition competition. While studying at Longy, he completed multiple works, including his first piano quintet titled “Death…Redemption…Life,” which was a national finalist for the 2023 American Prize. He also completed several commissions for chamber ensembles, such as nexbloom and the Gaia Quartet. He is a member of the Christian Fellowship for Art Music Composers.

Outside of his musical life, Samuel serves at his local church, on the Stoa Alumni Committee as the Senior Staff Writer for the Alumni Post, and on the Stoa Prayer Team. He enjoys teaching and learning about apologetics, biking/hiking, and listening to podcasts…and music of course.

I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music.

~ J.S. Bach