Description: Odeion String Quartet Keywords: Samson 2015

Samson Diamond
Position: Lecturer and Leader of the Odeion String Quartet
Department: Odeion String Quartet / Music
A: Musiek IB36, Office: 46A 201
Tel: +27 51 401 9588


Samson Diamond is appointed leader of the award-winning Odeion String Quartet, resident at the University of the Free State. He is lecturer at the Odeion School of Music and concertmaster of the Free State Symphony Orchestra (FSSO). Diamond has enjoyed an association with the London based, Chineke! Orchestra since its inception in 2015. Chineke! is Europe's first black and ethnic minority orchestra.

In November 2019, Diamond joined the Chineke! Orchestra for their tour in Europe as concertmaster with performances at prestigious venues in England, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

Diamond has appeared as soloist with major orchestras in South Africa, and in 2019 he appeared as concertmaster for the RMB Starlight Classics with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in March and Johannesburg Festival Orchestra in September. In July 2014 Samson successfully led the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) as guest concertmaster at the Gabbala International Music Festival in Azerbaijan. In 2012, Diamond was appointed as principal second violinist of the JPO, and consequently appeared as soloist with the orchestra.

A graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK, where he obtained both Bachelor of Music Honours Degree First Class (2006) and his Master of Music Performance (2007) degree with distinction. Samson got his first taste of music in Soweto where he studied with founder director of internationally acclaimed Buskaid Project, Rosemary Nalden, and further with Richard Ireland, Dr Pauline Nobes and Philippe Griffin. Samson won many prizes including the prestigious 2010 Standard Bank Young Artist for Music; the Charles Hallé Award; the RNCM Eric Nicholson Bow Prize; the RNCM Major Entrance Award, Edward Heaton Scholarship; the RNCM Philip Newman Violin Prize; and appeared in the 2010 publication of Mail & Gurdian 200 Young South Africans: Arts and Culture; and also appeared as a guest speaker at TEDx Soweto. Samson received kind scholarships from the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, the Canon Collins Trust Scholarship, and the Buskaid Trust.

As a freelance orchestral player in the UK, Samson played in the Hallé Orchestra, the Academy of St Martins in the Fields, BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, and the Academy of Ancient Music. Diamond was leader of the internationally acclaimed Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble from its inception in 1997 until 2007.

Diamond has served as jury member at prestigious national competitions such as SAMRO Overseas Scholarship, ATKV Muziq and the SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy competitions. Diamond coached the violin section of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for their 2018 Spring season. Diamond was Artistic Committee member and 2017-2018 music curator for the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Neliswa Emeni-Tientcheu: +27 51 401 2536
Phyllis Masilo: +27 51 401 9683

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