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, New York, 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, 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, HCMF Huddersfield, 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 Zeitgemässer 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 due for release by NMC in 2012.
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 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 for solo electric violin and live electronics 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. Hayden’s most recent ensemble projects include surface / tension for solo oboe and ensemble, performed by Christopher Redgate and CIKADA at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in November 2012 and String Quartet 'Transience' performed by Quatuor Diotima, also at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in November 2016 and Die Abkehr for 11 players, performed by Ensemble Musikfabrik (cond. Stefan Asbury); WDR Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz, Köln, in October 2017.
Hayden is Professor of Composition at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.He is represented by Graham Hayter of Contemporary Music Promotions (CMP),
an agency representing both composers and performers.