René Samson was born in 1948 in Paramaribo, the capital city of Surinam (former Dutch Guyana in South America). He grew up in a home where music (from classical music to jazz), dance (from ballet to kaseko – the local dance form), theatre and literature were as commonplace and essential as food and drink. From an early age, he started playing flute and piano, in symphony orchestras, chamber music groups and bands of all shapes and sizes. At age 18, he went to University to study chemistry. As a science student and later as a professional research scientist, he continued to dedicate his free time to music, studying flute with Hans van de Weyer and Eleonore Pameijer and playing in various orchestras.

At age 40, he began composing, taking composition lessons from Monique Suring, Leo Samama and Klaas de Vries. Since 1998, his music is being played regularly. The following musicians and ensembles have performed pieces written by him: the Amsterdam Bridge Ensemble (a CD of his chamber music played by the ABE was given the highest distinction in the Dutch music magazine Luister), Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Holland Symfonia (conducted by Hans Leenders), the Cristofori Piano Quartet, the Lumaka Ensemble, the Valerius Ensemble (conducted by Jacob Slagter), the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, harp duo Bilitis, singers Fanny Alofs, Marcel Beekman, Wilke te Brummelstroete, Ken Gould, Valérie Guillorit, Charlotte Riedijk and Mattijs van de Woerd, pianists Paolo Giacometti and Shuann Chai and double base player Rick Stotijn. Samson wrote a full-length opera entitled Het ware geweld to an original libretto by Olaf Mulder.