Simon Holt is a British composer of music for the concert hall and opera house.
As a young composer, Holt was commissioned to write ‘Kites’ for the London Sinfonietta (1983). Since then he has worked with London Sinfonietta many times, with works including ‘Ballad of the Black Sorrow’ (1988), ‘eco-pavan’ (1998) and ‘Sueños’ (2006).
Holt also enjoys a close relationship with the BBC orchestras, beginning with his Proms commission, ‘Syrensong’, written for the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1987. Most recently, he was Composer in Association at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, 2008 – 2014
Recent works include ‘Surcos’, co-commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, a basset clarinet concerto titled ‘Joy Beast’, written for Mark Simpson and commissioned by the BBC as part of New Music Biennial 2017, a PRS for Music Foundation initiative presented in partnership with Hull UK City of Culture 2017, London’s Southbank Centre and BBC Radio 3.
Holt takes inspiration from a wide range of sources. In particular, he draws on the world of Greek mythology. His recent work ‘Centauromachy’ takes the two opposing personalities of the mythical centaur as its starting point.
Holt says about himself that he is “spectacularly unadventurous in real life […] the most adventurous I ever get is when writing music”.