Simon Smith was born in Northumberland in 1983. At St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh he studied piano with Richard Beauchamp and composition with Tom David Wilson, also receiving lessons from John Maxwell Geddes and James MacMillan. At Cambridge University he studied composition with Giles Swayne.
As a pianist he has performed many of the landmarks of the 20th-century piano repertoire, most notably the complete piano music of Alfred Schnittke, several of Karlheinz Stockhausen‘s Klavierstücke and the piano concerto and complete etudes of György Ligeti, following a performance of which he was acclaimed as “a phenomenon – nothing daunts him, technically or musically” (The Scotsman). For Delphian Records Simon has recorded the complete piano music of James MacMillan along with the Piano Sonata by Stuart MacRae, a disc of piano music by Hafliði Hallgrímsson and solo and chamber works by Thomas Wilson, all of which have met with wide critical acclaim. Future plans include a recording of Schnittke’s complete piano music.
Following the première of his orchestral piece Paragon in May 2001, Simon was recognised as “clearly a composer determined to go places” (The Scotsman). His his subsequent large-scale composition Crucifixus, premièred in Edinburgh in 2002, was described as “beautifully paced, finely structured, Passion music for today… a direct and emotional work” (The Herald).
In 2004 his orchestral piece Still won the Cambridge University Music Society Composition Competition, and The Time That Remains, for orchestra, was premièred in Bristol in 2007. His most recent orchestral work Against All Things Ending was been shortlisted in the University of St Andrews 600th Anniversary Composition Competition and was premièred there in April.
Simon also works for Boosey & Hawkes as a music engraver, having produced scores of several large-scale works by Harrison Birtwistle and James MacMillan among others; other projects have included a new typeset score of Stockhausen’s Mantra for the Stockhausen-Verlag, for publication in 2011.