Sami Butler

  • Position Associate Principal Percussion/Timpani
Sami Butler

Sami Butler joined the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 2022 as Associate Principal Percussion/Timpani, having previously worked with them as a guest musician since 2015. Prior to his appointment at the ASO, he was the Percussion Fellow twice in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2017 and 2018, and completed his Bachelors and Honours degrees at the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music under the tutelage of Amanda Grigg. Sami has also worked with the Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.

Sami is the director of the Adelaide Youth Orchestras Percussion Ensemble, a group he is extremely proud of and who continue to inspire him. He also enjoys teaching percussion and drum kit privately. As a soloist, 2023 marked Sami’s concerto debut, performing Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto with the Adelaide Wind Orchestra and Bryan Griffiths, where his performance was noted for its ‘sublime musicality’ and his cadenza reviewed as ‘totally absorbing’.

Born in Adelaide, Sami began his lifelong involvement in music through his parents who were both musicians of the ASO string section. After bringing shame to his hapless family as a young violinist who detested practising, he then added insult to injury by transitioning to percussion at age ten and has never looked back since. Now residing in Fulham Gardens just down the road from where he grew up, Sami is a self-confessed ‘cricket nuffy’ who encourages anyone to engage him in conversation about Ricky Ponting’s pull shot.

Sami is supported by Zildjian cymbals and Vic Firth sticks.

Sami is supported by Annabel Barrett via our Musical Chairs program.

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