'Dynamic'... 'passionate'… 'committed'...'a musician's conductor'...
'devilish but with a great sense of fun'
These are not the words of a music critic but those of Simon’s many orchestral colleagues across the world with whom he has been fortunate to share a platform thus far. They are some of the finest musicians, playing in some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Kazakhstan, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Slovak Sinfonietta (State Chamber Orchestra of Slovakia).
These words have been further evidenced by his recent success in the 'Orchestra's Conductor' competition, held in Romania in June 2022. The concept of the competition aims to empower orchestra musicians by allowing them to discover and develop new talented leaders. The competition jury was formed of all orchestra members of the Brasov Filarmonic and they voted Simon as their winner.
Alongside these illustrious ensembles Simon has conducted orchestras in over 70 countries, across a plethora of musical genres, to tens of thousands of concert goers. He has appeared at many of the world’s most iconic venues, from the Royal Albert Hall and Sydney Opera House to the O2 in London and Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas to name but a few, working alongside some of the finest soloists including Peter Donohoe, Eugen Indjic, Nicholas Daniel, Catrin Finch, Craig Ogden as well as musicians from many other musical styles including IL Divo, Lea Salonga, Alfie Boe, Kathryn Jenkins, Russell Watson, Alice Cooper, Roger Daltrey, Barry Manilow and Johnny Mathis.
Although he spent the first 20 years of his career as a violinist, in 2011 the lure of the podium could no longer be resisted and Simon relinquished the ‘bow for the baton’ as he took up the invitation to conduct orchestras for the international vocal quartet IL Divo, beginning his new life at the deep end with a live DVD recorded in the London Coliseum with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This was the beginning of his transition from player to conductor and led to more than three years on the road.
His first major appointment in the classical field came in 2015 when he was appointed Chief Conductor of the Slovak Sinfonietta where he now continues his relationship as Principal Guest Conductor. He has developed a wonderful ongoing relationship with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra where he is a guest conductor, returning each season since his first in 2014, and is proud to be one of only a handful of British conductors – and the only Welshman - to be afforded the honour of working with the orchestra in its near 150 year history.
Simon has made numerous recordings, including two live DVDs with IL Divo, and has been a prize-winner in a number of conducting competitions - most notably in Romania where, in June 2022, he was awarded as winner of the inaugural 'Orchestra's Conductor' Competition in association with Filarmonica Brasov. Described as a 'democratic' competition, the jury was comprised of all of the musicians of the Filarmonica Brasov. In a separate vote, Simon was also declared the winner by the audience of the final concert who were not only were in the concert hall but who were also watching worldwide through a YouTube livestream. In 2018, Simon was awarded the Orchestra Prize voted for by members of the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra during the first Bucharest Music Institute International Conducting Competition. In January 2018 Simon was honoured by the Slovak government through the award of a 'Diploma of Appreciation' in recognition of extraordinary merits in the development of friendly relationships with the Slovak Republic.
Simon continues to be in great demand throughout Europe and beyond and has an active schedule in the UK as the Conductor and Artistic Director of Southern Sinfonia. 2020 highlights include return visits to both Slovakia and St Petersburg alongside the launch of a new season of concerts with Southern Sinfonia throughout the South of England.