Sam Bergman joined the Minnesota Orchestra in February 2000 at the age of 23. In addition to performing as violist, he serves as host and writer for the orchestra’s Inside the Classics concert series, co-authors a companion blog to the series with conductor Sarah Hicks, and occasionally appears as host of the Orchestra’s Young People’s Concerts. He frequently participates in the Orchestra’s chamber concerts, and in May 2011 he played Takemitsu’s And then I knew ’twas Wind on the Chamber Music at MacPhail series. At Sommerfest 2011 he played Judd Greenstein’s string quartet Four on the Floor, a work he and Orchestra members reprised following Inside the Classics concerts in November 2011.
Before arriving in Minneapolis, Bergman was a member of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra for two seasons. He graduated from Ohio’s Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied viola with Jeffrey Irvine and the Cleveland Orchestra’s Lynne Ramsey.
Bergman has written about music and the music business for a variety of publications, and from 2001 to 2008 he served as news editor for the online arts news digest ArtsJournal. His 2004 diary documenting the Minnesota Orchestra’s European tour, written for ArtsJournal, was hailed by the Washington Post as a refreshingly candid look at the orchestra world.
Originally from Boston, he grew up primarily in small-town Pennsylvania, making regular summer pilgrimages to Minnesota, where much of his extended family lives. He spends part of his summers teaching and coaching chamber music at Greenwood Music Camp in rural Massachusetts. Bergman, who has served on the faculties of St. Olaf College and New Hampshire’s Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, plays a Canadian viola crafted by John Newton in 1992 from the salvaged timbers of an Ontario barn.