There have been several musical influences throughout my life: my father’s old jazz records, soundtracks to cartoon slapstick violence, my brother’s CDs of various string quartets, down-tempo house music on internet radio stations… However, I had no inclination to live through music until I’d heard performances of Rachmaninoff concertos, listened to the piano works of Ravel, and began to comprehend the depth and passion in the Shostakovich symphonies. This change happened when I was fifteen, a very late age for most musicians, but once music had entered my life, there was no turning back. As cliché as it may sound, I did not choose a career in music – it chose me.
Composition and Style
Throughout my life, I’ve learned that music which moves us and inspires us will always be relevant, whether it was written yesterday or three hundred years ago. I look back to different artists from different eras for ideas while at the same time looking forward to always make something new. Yet, I always strive to stay true to my roots and remember what inspired me – Mozart’s ideas and songs written by The Beatles may be old and out of fashion, but there is something that compels every generation to listen regardless of their age. I write new music not for the sake of being new, but to inspire, regardless of where that inspiration comes from.
Most of my pieces are for solo piano or small groups. I’ve always been drawn to music with a handful of performers because I enjoy seeing and hearing the artistry that individual musicians bring to their performances.
About the Composer
Simon earned his Bachelor’s degree at Western Oregon University where he studied piano under Dr. Diane Baxter and composition under Dr. Arnold Friedman, Dr. Joseph Harchanko, and Dr. Kevin Walczyk. He is a distinguished performer and composer, winning awards for performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 3 in c minor and the original work Paganini Variations for piano quartet. Simon currently lives in Berlin, Germany.