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Moussa, Samy

Conductor and composer, Samy Moussa has collaborated regularly with a number of orchestras and ensembles, among them the MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Vancouver CBC Radio Orchestra, the Orchestre national de Lorraine, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, Samy Moussa became Music Director of the INDEX Ensemble in Munich.

His second opera, Vastation, will receive its première at the Munich Biennale in 2014 with the Regensburg Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer with subsequent performances in Regensburg. The libretto is from writer Toby Litt. His first opera, L’autre frère, was première at the 12th Munich Biennale in 2010. His music for orchestra has been championed by world renowned musicians such as Kent Nagano who has commissioned him Gegenschein (2009) and Zodiakallicht (2009) for large orchestra for the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.

His music is known for its clarity and power as well as its refined orchestration, and his conducting is characterised by its energetic and inspired style.

Samy Moussa took part in several master classes in conducting with Pierre Boulez and Peter Eötvös among others.

He has studied composition and conducting at the Université de Montréal where his principal teacher was José Evangelista, in addition to conducting studies in the Czech Republic with Paolo Bellomia. He was invited to study in Finland with Magnus Lindberg and Kaija Saariaho as part of the international Summer Sounds Festival. In 2007, Samy Moussa settled in Germany where he was enrolled at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München studying with Matthias Pintscher and Pascal Dusapin. Additional studies include the Royaumont Voix Nouvelles course and lessons from Salvatore Sciarrino.

Born in Montreal in 1984, Samy Moussa was assistant conductor with the hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt and with the Ensemble Modern. Samy Moussa lives in Paris and Berlin. His music is published by Durand (Universal Music Publishing Classical).


Vastation (2012-13)
Opera in 3 acts (in English)

for contralto, soprano, tenor, baritone and two bass, mixt choir and orchestra 

95 min - Editions Durand - On hire


Symphonie No. 1 "Concordia" (2017)

for large orchestra  —  — timb - 3 perc - pno - grand orgue - hpe  — cordes

40 min - Editions Durand - On hire

Crimson (2015)

for large orchestra - - timb - 5 perc - pno - hp - strings

12 min - Editions Durand - On hire

A Globe Itself Infolding (2014)
Organ concerto
11 min - Editions Durand - On hire

Nocturne (2014) - - timb - 2 perc - hp - strings
10 min - Editions Durand - On hire

Intermezzo (2013-14) from Vastation - - 2 perc - hp - strings

14 min - Editions Durand - On hire


The sick Rose (2015) for voice & piano
5 min - Editions Durand - On sale

Quatuor à cordes (2012) string quartet

11 min - Editions Durand - On sale

Samy Moussa on Youtube

Crimson for large orchestra (2015)

I always start a composition from the beginning. It is an imperative, otherwise no further invention is possible. « Crimson » was no exception: It took 62 different openings before I could reach something satisfying. Moussa Crimson Every single beginning was a plausible option, but I was searching for something else. It may seem like I have absolute power on the music I write, but it is not true. Music is alive and the material has very often its own will. I just knew it had to be resolute, loud, metallic, homophonic and equivocal.The definitive opening contains elements of a conclusive gesture; the most striking being the crash cymbals at the very start and the harmonic clarity of the first chords. However, I created a large space within those bars: the large body of strings do not play and the lowest notes of the initial bars are relatively high. These two elements explain the end, which is somehow the opposite. It offers a resolution of the initial imbalance: the music consists then mostly of strings and later only of extremely low notes. What happens in between is the presentation of two new ideas:

The first one, briefly presented, is a soft passage where the celesta dominates a thin orchestra; the second is fast and rhythmical music that will ultimately merge with the opening bars and return to the first idea to be further developed.

Berlin / July 1st, 2015

Have a look at the score


Watch the video excerpt