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‘The evening had begun with a suitably pyrotechnical piece, sparks, by the multi-talented young prodigy Mark Simpson. More originality in a few bars of this than in the entire repertoire of time-worn Last Night rituals’.
Evening Standard / Last Night of the Proms premiere of Sparks commissioned by the BBC / September 2012
'However it was clarinetist Mark Simpson, one-time winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year, who stole the show…. The performances he gave of Berio’s giant Sequenza and Reich’s New York Counterpoint were simply astounding, and made their unfolding logic seem totally convincing.'
The Daily Telegraph / Non Classical Club Night at the Troy Bar in Hoxton / November 2011
‘….a very powerful programme, of huge physicality and violent contrast of shade and dynamic…remarkable and innovative.’
Seen and heard international / Gower Festival / July 2012
At the age of 17 Mark Simpson became the 1st ever winner of both the BBC Young Musician of the Year & BBC Proms/Guardian Young composer of the Year Competitions. The BBC commissioned him to write the opening work for the 2012 Last Night of the Proms.
Born in 1988 in Liverpool, in 2006 at the age of 17 Mark Simpson became the first ever winner of both the BBC Young Musician of the Year and BBC Proms/Guardian Young composer of the Year Competitions.
The BBC commissioned him to write the opening work for the 2012 Last Night of the Proms and the BBC Symphony Orchestra perform his composition ‘A mirror-fragment…’ at the Barbican in 2013. This season he joins BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists scheme as a clarinettist and gives recitals at Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall and the Purcell Room with premieres of works by Simon Holt and Jonathan Harvey. He is currently a fellow on the Jerwood Opera Writing scheme and part of the Tillett Trust's Young Artist Platform series.
As a clarinettist Mark has appeared as soloist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (Vassily Petrenko), Northern Sinfonia (Yan Pascal Tortelier), BBC Philharmonic (Gianandrea Noseda), City of London Sinfonia, Manning Camerata, BBC Concert Orchestra, Oxford Philomusica and the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2008 he was a soloist in the BBC Last Night of the Proms in Hyde Park. Further afield he has given recitals at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, BeethovenFest in Bonn, Denver Colorado as a Lakewood Music Scholar, and toured the Middle East. During 2009/10 he was artist in residence with the Northern Chamber Orchestra.
Mark has had his compositions performed by some of the country’s leading orchestras and ensembles. In 2008 he wrote ‘Threads’ for the National Youth Orchestra, Nur Musik for oboe and ensemble commissioned by Ensemble 10/10, and ‘A mirror-fragment...’ for orchestra commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2011 the Aronowitz Ensemble performed his Los Proverbios at the Royal Concergebouw and in 2012 the Meiningen Symphony Orchestra performed ‘A mirror-fragment…’ in Germany. He has also written for the pianist Richard Uttley and the Mercury Quartet and in 2010 won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Composition Award for which he wrote Lethe for trombone and ensemble performed at the Royal Festival Hall.
Mark is deeply committed to the performance of new music. His debut CD was released on the NMC label and saw the culmination of five years of working with composers Mark-Anthony Turnage, Gary Carpenter, David Horne, Kenneth Hesketh, Gavin Higgins, Emily Howard and Stephen Pratt, developing new works for the clarinet and basset clarinet.
Mark read Music at St. Catherine’s College Oxford graduating with first class honours. In 2012 he completed an MMus in composition with Julian Anderson at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama supported by the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust. He studied clarinet with Nicholas Cox at the Junior School of the Royal Northern College of Music and now studies privately with Mark van der Wiel.
For further information on Mark Simpson’s compositions visit www.boosey.com/simpson