After graduating from Bristol University, Simon spent a year at Oxford University, concurrently becoming one of the founder members of the European Baroque Orchestra, of which he was made the first ever leader. He subsequently toured and recorded with most of the UK’s leading period instrument ensembles and held principal posts with The Academy of Ancient Music and the Brandenburg Consort. From 1997 to 2004 he was concertmaster of The King’s Consort, a role he combined with regular guest leading, directing, teaching and running his own ensemble Réjouissance.
Also, at this time Simon completed his PhD in string performance practice at York University where he also taught violin and lectured. In 2004 he accepted the role of Head of Historical Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and in 2013 was appointed Head of the String Department. He continues to have responsibility for college-wide Historical Performance activity, and also fulfils external consultancy and examining roles for other institutions. These include appointments as external MMus examiner for Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, the Royal Scottish Conservatoire and The Royal College of Music in London. Over recent years he has undertaken masterclasses, coaching, adjudication and has curated performance projects at several institutions including The Royal College of Music, The Royal Academy of Music, Arts Academies at Idyllwild and Interlochen, and The Juilliard School in New York.
Simon is a diploma examiner for the ABRSM and in this capacity has undertaken several tours to the Far East. He was the recording consultant for the ABRSM’s current violin syllabus, and, in this role, he advised on the recording sessions as well as performing on several of the recordings of the current violin graded pieces.
Simon is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has won several Learning and Teaching awards for his work in developing the RWCMD string syllabus and in recognition of his contribution to string teaching both nationally and internationally. In 2016 he was thrilled to be selected as one of only 55 National Teaching Fellows selected from all the UK Universities and Conservatoires. Simon’s work with the European String Teachers’ Association is particularly important to him, and he serves as a trustee and council member as well as being one of the mentors for the PG Certificate course.
Simon continues to perform and record with award-winning UK ensembles such as The Sixteen and Arcangelo as well as enjoying commercial recording work for film and TV, and he is particularly excited to have performed on one of the Harry Potter film soundtracks!