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British pianist Simon Mulligan has been described by The Times of London as ‘the most abundantly gifted of pianists’, by Yehudi Menuhin as ‘one of the finest pianists I have ever had the pleasure of performing with’ and by Herbie Hancock as ‘phenomenal’. Following his début with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Simon has performed and recorded with the BBC Symphony, Detroit Symphony (under Slatkin), English Symphony Orchestra (Boughton), Warsaw Sinfonia (Menuhin), Hong Kong Philharmonic (Atherton), Malaysian Philharmonic, and the Royal National Scottish Orchestra (Serebrier) to name a few.
Simon made his first compact disc under the direction of Yehudi Menuhin, which led to a seven-year collaboration and friendship, culminating in what was to be Lord Menuhin's final concert in Düsseldorf. Since then, recording highlights include Piano for Sony Classical, featuring his own arrangements, compositions, and adaptations for piano and orchestra. Simon has also made compact discs for Universal, Decca, Nimbus and Naxos. His recording The Piano Music of Alexis Weissenberg for Nimbus, includes spontaneous improvisations recorded in the presence of the composer.
As a chamber musician, Simon collaborates with many notable artists. Simon was just nineteen when he began worldwide tours with cellist Lynn Harrell. He soon began recital tours with violinist Joshua Bell, performing at every major international venue as well as a live broadcasts for Lincoln Center and the Grammy Awards. Simon has performed for President Barack Obama, Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family, and has collaborated with Dame Shirley Bassey, Branford Marsalis, Liza Minnelli, Van Morrison, and Sting.
Alongside an extensive solo repertoire and almost sixty concertos, Simon’s focus on contemporary music has led to first performances of works by Hans Werner Henze, James MacMillan, Paul Moravec, Tobias Picker, Mark Anthony Turnage and Alexis Weissenberg. Simon’s passion for improvisation has featured in numerous publications including Downbeat, JazzTimes, International Pianist, and Gramophone. He enjoyed a close friendship with film composer Michael Kamen, and is soloist on Kamen’s album The New Moon in the Old Moon’s Arms (for Decca), with the BBC Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatkin. He also collaborated with Kamen and is featured on the soundtrack to the HBO television series Band of Brothers, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. As a jazz pianist, he gives concerts with his London quartet and New York trio.
Last season saw a Beethoven album release on Arkiv, performances at Colombia’s Mozart Festival and concerto appearances with Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Simon is a Steinway Artist and has recorded over forty hours of music for the Steinway Spirio, a new high-resolution playback piano.
A Music Scholar of St Paul’s School in London, Simon began his studies with Andrew Pledge, before winning a scholarship to study with Alexander Kelly at the Royal Academy of Music and Jacques Rouvier in Paris. He also studied Beethoven at the personal invitation of Alfred Brendel. Simon won a further scholarship to the International Piano Academy at Italy’s Lake Como where he began his studies under Alexis Weissenberg. Simon is one of the youngest recipients to be awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music for his musical achievements. He additionally counts among his mentors Charles Rosen and Murray Perahia.