"Something that Thompson and Kahng have wondered about together is: "if this piece was not performed, did Florence Price have a 'Joachim'? That is someone who she could send it to to get some violinistic advice?" The manuscript still leaves questions, "and the questions even go to the first two notes when the violin comes in."
Violinist Samuel Thompson Remembers Hurricane Katrina
"Sam says that what’s often forgotten when his story is told, is that he, just like everyone else, felt the magnitude of the situation. The romantic image that was painted by the media of his playing the violin amidst the chaos did not match the reality of what he experienced in the Superdome."
"Thompson's generosity in playing Bach in the midst of such difficulty and disorganization is something that struck a chord; the story circulated widely and quickly. In the 10 years since the storm, Thompson has felt ambivalent about his 10 minutes of fame, which on one hand brought some opportunities, and on the other hand was something he did not wish to have exploited."
"...a string ensemble lifted the show to another dimension. Cleveland Chandler and Samuel Thompson on violins;
Daphne Benichou, viola; and Kenneth Law on cello helped to transport the audience to the waters of the harbor, with visions of boats, ships and milling tourists. They were most effective in the pieces 'In the Market Place,' 'Sailing,' 'Harbor Place,' and 'Water,' with their singing, drifting tunes."
Colour of Music Festival Virtuosi Play Every Season, Twice
"...the star of Mr. Andriessen’s opera is the orchestra. Mr. (Armando) Bayolo vividly brought out the music’s ability
to project visual images, whether in the downward tumbles of the first movement, the gondola-bobbing lines of the fourth, or the blinding brightness of Paradise, where harp, bells and the airy voices of the Children’s Chorus of Washington floated in gleaming contrast to the dark timbres of hell."
"A fresh slate of players then performed Benjamin Britten’s (1913–1976) Phantasy Quartet, led by oboist Hasaan Anderson. Violinist Samuel Thompson, violist Audry Harris, and cellist Kenneth Law joined him in the composer’s multi-layered,
multi-textured piece that is strikingly abstract within at atmosphere of impressionistic imagery. One thing that makes the work pleasing is the lyrical and at times playful voice of the oboe...Overall, the distinguishing element of this “double” chamber recital was the excellence and exuberance of the playing."
"Hartke’s composition, thorny and more demanding than the mollification one generally receives from 'in memoriam' pieces, opened the concert with a stark tone. Beginning with dark, dissonant chords played by string trio, the piece followed with what felt like disconnected chimes in the upper register of the piano, haunting, static, coolly reminiscent of the chamber works of Morton Feldman or Arvo Pärt. The work eventually progressed into 'safer' tonal waters: lush, verdant chords making use of whole-tone harmonic motion, solidly concluding with a mere whisp of hope. My companion, unfamiliar with new music, remarked 'I can’t believe how in sync all the performers [Thompson, violin; Rebecca Steele, viola; Natalie Spehar, cello; Andrew Kraus, piano] were'."
Black Arts Movement: Giving comfort and calm with a violin
"The fame generated by that incident isn't why ProArts booked Thompson for its 2011 Black Arts Movement Festival, but the story reveals much about the musician and the man: his devotion to his instrument, his commitment to his craft, and his compassion for his fellow man."
"A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Fractured Atlas member Samuel Thompson began playing violin at a young age and made his debut at the age of eighteen with the Carolina Amadeus Players Chamber Orchestra. He studied at both the University of South Carolina and Oklahoma State University, earning the Master of Music degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where he studied with Kenneth Goldsmith and Raphael Fliegel. Currently living in New York, Samuel recently took time out from his busy schedule of performing, editing recordings and writing about music and the arts to answer a few of my questions…"