Mark Simpson


Composer and clarinettist Mark Simpson (b.1988, Liverpool) became the first ever winner of both the BBC Young Musician of the Year and BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composer of the Year competitions in 2006. He went on to read Music at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford and studied composition with Julian Anderson at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Simpson was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2012-2014 and received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in 2014. In 2015 he was appointed Composer in Association of the BBC Philharmonic for a period of four years.

Simpson’s oratorio The Immortal was premiered by the BBC Philharmonic at the 2015 Manchester International Festival to immediate critical acclaim. Other works with orchestra include Israfel premiered by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, sparks commissioned for the 2012 Last Night of the Proms and A mirror-fragment… written for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. His first opera Pleasure was commissioned by Opera North, the Royal Opera and Aldeburgh Music and premiered in 2016.

Recent chamber works include Hommage à Kurtág for clarinet, piano and viola, commissioned by the Salzburg and Edinburgh International festivals for premiere in 2016 by Simpson alongside Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Antoine Tamestit, and a solo clarinet work Darkness Moves commissioned by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. Further ahead, Simpson will write a new work for the Gould Piano Trio and a cello concerto for Leonard Elschenbroich and the BBC Philharmonic.

Simpson’s second disc for NMC was released in 2016, featuring chamber and ensemble works including Night Music, a cello and piano piece written for Leonard Elschenbroich and premiered at the Wigmore Hall. Simpson continues to perform widely as a soloist and chamber musician, with recent highlights including Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto at the BBC Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis and Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps at the Aldeburgh Festival with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Isabelle Faust and Jean-Guihen Queyras. In 2016 he performed Magnus Lindberg’s Clarinet Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester and with the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg conducted by HK Gruber.


For information on Mark Simpson's work, please see the Boosey and Hawkes link.


Sim Canetty-Clarke

United Kingdom