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Composer (MIDI)

Simon Ballard (1945-); ENG

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Simon Ballard

Simon was born in Warwickshire and has studied the piano since the age of six. When eleven, he won the Foundation Scholarship to the Birmingham Conservatoire where he studied with Lilian Niblette and Tom Bromley. He became a full-time student there at sixteen, having already played concertos with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra whilst still at school.

He then began studies in woodwind instruments as well as continuing with the piano, under the Austrian pianist Katharina Wolpe in London. He was the pianist of the Dussek Ensemble, with four members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, for three years and is also well known as a concerto player, having over sixty concertos in his repertoire, and as a solo recitalist for the BBC. In addition, he has been a member of Croydon Symphony Orchestra, Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra and Scarborough Orchestra, as a viola player.

He has been recognized as one of the most gifted interpreters of the music of Mozart and has played all 23 piano concertos. He has also done much to publicize and play the works of the unjustly neglected Irish composer, John Field, which includes two performances of the Piano Concerto No.4. He also includes in his recitals and concerts the rarely heard piano music of Dvorák and that of the impressionist Polish composer, Szymanowski. He is regarded as an authority on the composer, Spohr, at present enjoying a renaissance, and has had an article about the symphonies published recently in the Spohr Society journal.

Simon was Head of Woodwind for the London Borough of Merton, for eighteen years, and teaches flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon (the oboe and bassoon being his speciality).

A prolific composer, he is a strong believer in tonality and melody. His works, mostly chamber music, include the 24 Petites Sérénades; a sextet; a piano quintet; a piano quartet, Romanze; two piano trios; sonatas for various instruments with piano; and some other piano music. Much of his work has been written to provide music for students to play (as ensembles for GCSE and A level). In the 1980's, he provided completions to all of Schubert's unfinished piano sonatas and has also composed cadenzas to some of Mozart's piano concertos. In 1999, his Rondoletto - A Serenade for Summer Wine was published. It was written for Sarah Thomas, the actress who played the part of Glenda in the BBC comedy series, Last of the Summer Wine.

Simon is also a festival adjudicator of much experience, including festivals at Hereford, Northfield (Birmingham), and Dudley, and is frequently asked to be official accompanist at other such events.

He has performed all over Britain and abroad at various venues that have included Birmingham, Amersham, London, Brighton, Southport, Whitby, Dunfermline, Cardiff, Manchester, Bristol, Gloucester and Leeds.

His teaching experience amounts to over 30 years, much of it in the classroom, both as Head of Department and assistant teacher.

He now lives in Eastbourne, East Sussex, and performs regularly, both as a soloist and in chamber music, as well as playing the viola in Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra, one of the best orchestras of its kind outside the London area. Occasionally, he teams up with young Royal College pianist, Gary Matthewman, to play and give recitals of piano duets.

Printed scores of all featured works are available.
Please contact Dr. Peter J. Chapman at for details.

Simon Ballard

Simon Simon was born in Warwickshire and has studied the piano since the age of six. When eleven, he won the... More
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