Described as a daring, authentic and versatile young conductor, the Israeli-Hungarian conductor Tal Samuel is fast earning a reputation as a promising talent conducting from the opera pit and on the concert hall stages in the United States, Europe and Israel.
Most recently, Samuel was invited to work with Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, Das Kritische Orchester and Maestra Simone Young and was the first Israeli female conductor ever invited to work with Maestro Bernard Haitink and the Lucerne Strings Festival Orchestra at his renewed masterclass in Lucerne Festival.
Her international accomplishment won her prestigious prizes by the America- Israel Cultural Foundation, the Sylvia Borger memorial Fund, Haifa Symphony Orchestra Society and the Mahler Conducting Fellowship by the Gustav Mahler Gold Medal recipient, Colorado Mahler Festival.
Samuel was one of 24 conductors chosen to participate in the prestigious Malko Conducting Competition out of 566 applicants from around the world and performed with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in Copenhagen.
Previously, she was among the 12 contestants chosen to participate in the German Conductors’ Award International Competition in Germany, where she performed with the the WDR Sinfonieorchester, Oper Köln and Gürzenich Orchester Köln at the famous Kölner Philharmonie concert hall in Cologne.
During the 2017-2018 season Samuel served as a Conducting Fellow to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and to the Chicago Sinfonietta.
Sine 2014, she has also been working as an assistant conductor at the Opera and Ballet Theater in Bloomington Indiana. Her recent productions with the company include: La Fille Du Régiment, Così Fan Tutte, La Boheme, Dead Man Walking, Oklahoma!, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.
Samuel also served as Music Director of the theater’s Fall Ballet concert series and conducted subscription concerts of Balanchine’s iconic ballets “Emeralds” and “Divertimento” while working closely with renewed ballerina and ballet master Violette Verdy. She also conducted modern ballets such as “Saudade” by the Australian chirographer Sasha Janes and “As Time Goes By” by Twayla Tharp.
Samuel is the founder and Music Director of the Meytar Music Festival (MMF) in Israel. The summer festival has been taking place since its establishment in 2010 and aims to bring classical music to diverse communities living in peripheral areas across Israel. It consists of a mobile chamber orchestra whose performances under Samuel’s baton were highly praised for their exceptional level and were widely recognized for their contribution to the community.
Samuel’s recent conducting engagements include orchestras such as the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Gürzenich Orchester Köln, Lucerne Strings Festival Orchestra, Danubia Orchestra Óbuda, Das Kritische Orchester, New World Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Berlin Sinfonietta, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Israeli Chamber Orchestra, Israel Sinfonieta Bee’r-Sheva Orchestra, the Herzliya Chamber Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra (IN), Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Scottish Conservatory Orchestra, Jacobs School of Music Philharmonic Orchestra and the The Buchmann-Mehta Symphony Orchestra.
Apart from her professional engagements, Samuel was also invited to participated in highly prestigious and selective conducting master classes. Her mentors in recent years include: Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson Thomas, Jorma Panula, Peter Eötvös, Marin Alsop, Simone Young, Yoel Levi, Asher Fisch, Carl St. Clair, James Ross and Cliff Colnot.
Tal Samuel was born in Haifa, Israel. She studied piano since the age of six and viola since the age of ten with the latter becoming her main instrument. As an accomplished violist, she has performed with numerous chamber groups and orchestras in her home country and abroad and played under conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Helmuth Rilling and others.
Samuel holds a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and a Bachelor’s degree in Orchestral conducting, minoring in viola performance and composition form Tel-Aviv University. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the Jacobs School of Music where she studied under the tutelage of David Effron and Arthur Fagen.