Violist Sam Bergman joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2000. Born in Boston, he grew up primarily in small-town Pennsylvania, studying violin and viola with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra. He attended Oberlin Conservatory, studying with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey, and was a member of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra before coming to Minneapolis.
Since 2005, he has produced, written and hosted more than 40 original narrated shows for the Minnesota Orchestra, many with conductor Sarah Hicks for the Orchestra’s Inside the Classics series. Together, Sam and Sarah created programs celebrating LGBTQ composers, delving into the history of protest music in the concert hall and examining the impact of music on the human brain.
Away from Minnesota, Sam serves as principal viola of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Northern California, and has brought several works by living composers featured at Cabrillo back to Minneapolis as part of the Minnesota Orchestra’s programming.
Fellow Minnesota Orchestra violist Kenneth Freed was Sam's summer camp counselor for several years in the 1980s. They have since forgiven each other.