Samuel grew up in north London, attending University College School and the Junior Royal Academy of Music. In 2001 he went up to New College, Oxford to read music. He graduated with a first class degree in 2004, taking the Gibbs Prize for the top result in his year.
He remained at New College for a further year to read for the M.St. in music, for which he was awarded a pass with distinction in 2005. During this year he pursued several of his research interests, writing a dissertation on Shostakovich’s Thirteenth String Quartet and also working on Brahms’ song Die Mainacht, the problem of the artwork (focusing on the work of Arthur Danto and Peter Kivy), the function of hermeneutics in vocal music (as explored by Roland Barthes), and the early history of the Oxford University Jazz Club.
From 2006 to 2008, Samuel was College Musician at Queens’, Cambridge. He conducted a production of his opera, David and Goliath, as well as several concerts with the St Margaret Society Chorus and Orchestra, the largest choral society in Cambridge. In collaboration with the college music society he worked to develop music in the college through a variety of concerts, masterclasses and workshops, including a highly popular series of jazz workshops working with everything from complete beginners to experienced performers.
From 2008 to 2009, Samuel studied on the National Opera Studio repetiteurs course, supported by Welsh National Opera, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund. He also continued to teach at the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department, giving classes in theory and supporting studies, teaching jazz piano/techniques and coaching chamber music.
From 2009 to 2011, Samuel lived in Cologne, where he was engaged in the Oper Köln as repetiteur and conductor. During this time he conducted several productions in the Kinderoper, including two world premieres, and worked as assistant and pianist for conductors including Markus Stenz, Lothar Koenigs and Markus Poschner.
From 2011 to 2014 Samuel worked as repetiteur and conductor at the Hamburg Staatsoper. In the 2012-3 season he conducted the first in a new series of contemporary opera productions in the Opera Stabile: I Am Your Opus, with music by Aribert Reimann. He was also commissioned by the Hamburg Staatsoper to write a children’s opera, Zwerg Nase, which had a premiere run of 16 performances in February 2014. While in Hamburg he worked as assistant and pianist for conductors including Simone Young, Sebastian Weigle, Stefan Soltesz, Marcus Bosch, Alexander Joel and Patrick Lange.
Since August 2014 Samuel has been Kapellmeister (staff conductor) at the Staatstheater Mainz, where he has conducted a range of opera and concert repertoire including La Bohème, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Dialogues des Carmélites, Carmina Burana, Spamalot, Gluck’s Armide and Cherubini’s Médée, as well as works including John Cage’s Atlas eclipticalis, Bach’s cantata no. 38, Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, and a new children’s opera by the French-Lebanese composer Zad Moultaka, Hamed und Sharifa. He has also conducted at the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern (Les Pêcheurs de Perles), Magdeburg Opera House (The Nutcracker, La Bohème) and Glyndebourne (preparatory workshops on Brett Dean’s newly-commissioned opera Hamlet with singers including Sir John Tomlinson and Allan Clayton). He returned to Glyndebourne in summer 2017 to assist Vladimir Jurowski on the world premiere production of Hamlet and conduct the cover cast.