Andrew Simon


Principal Clarinet of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrew Simon has won acclaim on four continents for his brilliant musicianship and "almost god-like technique" (Auditorium magazine). Michael Tilson Thomas has noted his "formidable technique, flair, and musicianship" while Allan Kozinn of The New York Times compared him favourably to Benny Goodman. First Prize Winner of the International Clarinet Society Competition and the National Arts Club Competition, the Juilliard School graduate made his debut in the Carnegie Hall Recital (Weill) Hall in 1989, after winning the Artists International Young Musicians Auditions Clarinet Award. He subsequently embarked on an international career, appearing as soloist and teaching master classes in the USA, Great Britain, China, Japan, Canada, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and The Philippines.

The 2004 season brimmed with performances: Andrew Simon played the Finzi Clarinet Concerto with The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in March, performed chamber music in Singapore and appeared as concerto soloist with the SAR Ensemble in Hong Kong. In 2005, he will be featured four more evenings with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, collaborating with conductors Edo de Waart and Samuel Wong, as well as pianist, Jon Kimura Parker in works by Bernstein, Stravinsky and Mozart. Recent highlights include concerts of Copland's Clarinet Concerto with the Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony, the premiere of Richard Tsang's Dragon Signs with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, recitals in Portugal, and his Singapore Symphony debut (2002), playing the original version of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto on the basset clarinet. From 1989 to 1995, he made five tours of Japan, for a total of 22 concerts in 16 cities, under the sponsorship of Buffet-Crampon, and, in 1992, became the first American-born artist ever to perform in North Korea.

Andrew Simon has given more than fifty solo performances with the HKPO, performing such works as John Corigliano's Clarinet Concerto, which he studied with the Academy Award winning composer, and the Baermann Adagio conducted by David Atherton, which was the first live clarinet performance recorded exclusively for the Internet.

Other conductors Andrew Simon has collaborated with as soloist include Yuri Simonov, Matthias Bamert, Donald Johanos, Diego Masson, Alexander Rahbari, and Marin Alsop, with whom he made his Australian concerto debut in 2000, giving the Australian premiere of the original version of Aaron Copland's Clarinet Concerto. The nationally broadcast performance "brought the house down" (The West Australian).

Recordings include his solo CD HOT (Musicians Showcase), "a strong and consistent display of first-class clarinet playing, Simon's interpretations are professional in the best sense of the word" (Fanfare magazine), and Stravinsky's Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo (GMN), "Andrew Simon's dark rich sound and flawless technique do wonders for the clarinet works" (American Record Guide).

He has been Guest Principal with the Mainly Mozart Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and has performed on WQXR, BBC Radio 3 with Peter Donohoe, and on television in the United States, Yugoslavia, China, Hong Kong, and both North and South Korea. National Chairperson of the International Clarinet Association, he regularly contributes to journals and performs and lectures at conventions, such as in Shanghai in 2003, Melbourne in 2005, and Tokyo in 2005.

Andrew Simon will have an article devoted to his career in Gianluca Campagnolo's forthcoming book on the greatest clarinettists of the present day.