Praised by the New York Times for his "unimpeachable reading" of the Poulenc Cello Sonata, cellist Samuel Magill has had a rich and varied career as soloist, chamber musician, and as a member of major orchestras. His first CD for Naxos of the Cello Concerto of Vernon Duke was hailed as "flat-out magnificent" by the American Record Guide, while The Strad Magazine wrote in 2010 of his world premiere recording of Franco Alfano's Cello Sonata "...Magill's husky, dark timbre matches the Cello Sonata's yearning intensity to perfection...". That CD was named as one of the "Ten Best Recordings of 2009" by www.synaphai.com. The June 2014 Strad raved about Magill's "Sumptuous tone" in his March recital at Bargemusic in New York, in which he and Beth Levin performed the rarely heard Czerny transcription of Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata.
Sam has appeared as soloist throughout Japan and the U.S., including performances of the Schumann Concerto and Brahms's Double Concerto in Tokyo's famed Suntory Hall and in New York's Alice Tully Hall. Mr. Magill has partnered with the pianists Oxana Yablonskaya, Pascal Rogé and the late Grant Johannesen. He is co-founder of The Elysian Ensemble, a Flute, Cello and Harp Trio. They gave their New York debut at Weill Recital Hall to critical acclaim.
A pupil of the late Zara Nelsova, Mr. Magill was educated at the Peabody Institute and Rice University. He is currently a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and was formerly Associate Principal Cello. Magill was also a member of both the Pittsburgh and the Houston Symphony Orchestras, and was Principal Cello of the Houston Ballet Orchestra. He has taught extensively on the secondary and tertiary educational levels for more than 30 years. He was Artist in Residence at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. As an audition coach Mr. Magill has unique experience performing both the orchestral and the operatic repertoire. As a successful auditioner himself, in addition to winning auditions for the Houston Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony and The Met Orchestra, he has been either a runner-up or a finalist for the Chicago Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and The Cincinnati Symphony.