Samson Young (b.1979), composer, sound artist and new media artist. With formal training in music composition, an eye for visuals and a keen interest in emergent technologies, Young has been known to combine his diverse expertise into uniquely intermedia experiences. His works are fundamentally informed by an engagement with new cultural-technological paradigms, yet deeply grounded in the classical musical tradition. Young’s creative output spans the widest possible range: from composition for orchestra and gameboys, to amusement ride-turned-sound installation, to ensembles of ipad and iphones, to multimedia music theatre. Described by Sequenza 21 as “epic, dark and fun,” a sense of play that comes from breaking down preconceived boundaries unifies all of his work. 

Young belongs to a new breed of composer-artists whose work speak to communities across disciplinary divides. In 2007, Young became the first from Hong Kong to receive the Bloomberg Emerging Artist Award with his audio-visual project “the Happiest Hour.” In 2009, CNN’s global portal CNNgo named him one of the top “20 people to watch in Hong Kong.” Young was Hong Kong Sinfonietta’s artist associate in the 2008/09 season, and since then he has maintained a close relationship with the orchestra, working in the capacity of composer-director in a range of multimedia productions. These include: Electric Kinderszenen, a piano-installation project featuring Colleen Lee; Box of Revelation, a multimedia rendition of Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps; and the popular “Know-Your” concert series.

Young is a regular guest at festivals around the globe, including: Sydney Springs International New Music Festival (Australia 2001), the Canberra International Music Festival (Australia 2008), ISCM World Musid Days (Australia 2010), MONA FOMA Festival of Music and Art (2011); the Bowdoin International Music Festival (US 2004), Bang on a Can Music Summer Music Festival (US 2005), Perspectives International Festival of Media Art (US 2009); Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt (Germany 2006); Dark Music Days (Iceland 2008); Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival (Malaysia 2009); Microwave International New Media Arts Festival (HK 2004), October Contemporary (HK 2007 and 2009), Le French May (HK 2004 and 2009), and the Hong Kong Arts Festival (HK 2009 and 2010). His music received performances by Hong Kong Sinfonietta, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, London NASH Ensemble, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Bang on a Can and summer institute fellows, Network for New Music, New Millennium Ensemble, SO Percussion, Sydney Song Company, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, among others.

Young is currently a Ph.D fellow at Princeton University, and an assistant professor in Critical Intermedia Art at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. His mentors include Chan Hing-yan and electronic music pioneer Paul Lanksy.


2013, Shanghai, China

Japan Media Art Festival
2012, Tokyo

Lacking Sound Festival
2011, Taiwan

Floating Land Festival
2011, Queensland, Australia

MONA FOMA Festival of Music and Art
2011, Australia

Hong Kong Arts Festival
2010, Hong Kong

International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM) Festival
2010, Australia

Le French May Arts Festival: with City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
2009, Hong Kong

Hong Kong Arts Festival: with Hong Kong Sinfonietta
2009, Hong Kong

Canberra International Music Festival
2008, Australia

Dark Music Days Contemporary Music Festival
2008, Iceland

October Contemporary
2007, Hong Kong

Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt
2006, Germany

Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
2005, USA

Bowdoin International Music Festival
2004, Maine USA

Cattle Depot Arts Festival
2003, Hong Kong

The 11th Sydney Springs International Music Festival
2000, Australia


Samson Young: On the Musically Beautiful
2013, Goethe-Institute, Hong Kong

Revolution Per Minute - Sound Art China
2013, Colgate University, New York

Innovationist: the Spectacular Journey of New Media Art
2013, Taipei Contemporary Art Museum, Taipei

Violence and Poetics
2013, AM Space, Hong Kong

CODE - A Media, Games & Art Conference
2012, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

2012Art Here @ Zero1 Biennia
l2012, San Jose, California

No Transnational: Liquid Borders and Empty Promises
2012, ISE Cultural Foundation, New York

Why Do Trees Grow Till the End
2012, Gallery EXIT, Hong Kong

Bamboo Theatre
2012, M+ Museum of Visual Culture, West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong

XXX: Next Ten Years of Contemporary Art
2011, Today Art Museum, Beijing

Shanghai Electronic Music Week Sound Art Exhibition
2011, Eastlink Gallery, M50 Shanghai

Invention and Intervention – Power Showcase of Hong Kong New Media Artist
2011, Microwave, Hong Kong

2011, New York, USA

Machines for Making Nothing
2011, Cogut Center for Humanities, Brown University, USA

Hong Kong Whispers
2010, 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, London

New Vision Arts Festival
2010, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Hong Kong

InLight Richmond
2010, Richmond, Virginia

Biennale Lichtkunst – private light in public spaces
2010, ARTPARK Linz, Austria

2010, I/O Gallery, Hong Kong

18 Degrees of Acclimation
2010, White Box Gallery, New York

Beyond the Colony of Kitsch
2010, Crossing Art Gallery, New York

Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture
2010, West Kowloon Cultural District Waterfront, Hong Kong

Prospectives International Festival of Media Art
2009, University of Nevada

October Contemporary 2009: Last Intervention
2009, Osage Art Foundation Gallery, Hong Kong

Box of Revelation
2009, McAulay Studio, Hong Kong Art Center

Eric Ayotte and Samson Young
2008, Red Tin Shack Gallery, New York

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win: Emerging Artists from the Chinese Diaspora
2008, Deutschebank Headquarters, New York

The Happiest Hour: Bloomberg Emerging Artist Award Exhibition
2007, Sino Hong Kong Art Gallery, Hong Kong

October Contemporary 2007: Again
2007, Osage Art Foundation Gallery, Hong Kong

Shenzhen-Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture
2007, Victoria Prison, Hong Kong and OCT, Shenzhen