Sam Barker was born in Hampshire, England and has lived in Ireland since 1987. He studied for his BMus in CIT Cork School of Music (CSM) taking various composition electives under David Wallace, C.S.L. Parker and Seamus De Barra and orchestration under Alan Cutts. In 2011 he achieved his MA in composition in CSM under C.S.L. Parker.
His output has seen great stylistic variety from his early modal folk-influenced compositions to his constructionist pieces of the last few years. His works have been performed nationwide by the Cork New Music Ensemble, (to which he is a regular contributor), Alex Petcu, the Diversus Guitar Ensemble and by himself as performer.