Marijn Simons is Conductor and Artistic Director of the Simons Ensemble. Since 2012 he has been an Assistant Conductor at the Opernfestspiele in Heidenheim. During the 2013 edition of the Opernfestspiele Heidenheim Simons was Artistic Director of the bi-annual Zeitgenossen festival.
Simons has conducted amongst others the Stuttgart Philharmonic, Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, Aachen Symphony Orchestra, New Music Ensemble Aachen, Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie (Koblenz), Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie (Konstanz), Cappella Aquileia (Heidenheim), Audite Nova Ensemble (Heidenheim), National Radio Chamber Orchestra (Bucharest), State Philharmonic Orchestra of Sibiu, St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra, Yekaterinburg Chamber Orchestra, State Safonov Philharmonic Orchestra (Russia), Limburg Symphony Orchestra, Nieuw Amsterdams Peil, the Simons Ensemble and the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno. With the Kharkiv Philharmonic Simons conducted the first performance in the Ukraine of Mahler’s Symphony no. 1 to include the symphonic movement Blumine. Future conducting engagements include a performance with live television broadcast of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky Cantata with the Orquesta Sinfónica del IPN (Mexico City) and a recording project with the WDR Radio Orchestra Cologne.
Simons has also performed worldwide as a violinist. Highlights from his solo career include the world première of Villa-Lobos’s violin concerto Fantasia de Movimentos Mixtos with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico conducted by Enrique Diemecke, the Italian première of Milhaud’s 2nd violin concerto with the Orquesta Sinfónica Siciliana and the Dutch première of MacMillan’s violin concerto A Deep but Dazzling Darkness with the Radio Chamber Orchestra conducted by the composer. Simons also played as a Concert Master with several German orchestras including the Aachen Symphony Orchestra, Nuremberg State Philharmonic and at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein with the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra and the Duisburg Philharmonic.
Simons’ compositions have been commissioned and performed by such conductors and soloists as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Marin Alsop, Peter Eötvös, James MacMillan, Marcus Bosch, Christian Lindberg, Evelyn Glennie, Colin Currie, Liza Ferschtman, Dorothee Oberlinger and by orchestras and ensembles such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, The Hague Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Aachen Symphony Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Tambuco Percussion Ensemble and the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic.
Simons was Composer-in-Residence at the Cabrillo Festival, Delft Chamber Music Festival, Orlando Festival and the Zeitgenossen festival. His compositions have been performed at concert venues such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Cologne Philharmonic Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), National Centre for the Arts (Mexico City) and the Hanoi Opera House. He has received the Philip Morris Arts Prize, Limburg Culture Award, Wim Bary Perspective Award and his composition The City of the Soul has been awarded Best Dutch Choral Composition in 2001. Recordings of his music have been released by Composers’ Voice, Etcetera, NorthWest Classics, Quintone, Amstel Records and Erasmus labels.
October 2014 saw the world première of his first opera Emilia Galotti commissioned by the Koblenz Theatre. Future commissions include a work for Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra with the Netherlands Radio Choir and a new opera for the Linz Theatre.
Simons was born in The Netherlands in 1982. He studied violin with Prof. Saschko Gawriloff, composition with Daan Manneke and James MacMillan and conducting with Ed Spanjaard, Jean- Bernard Pommier and Prof. Kenneth Kiesler.
“Soloist Simons tore into the Villa-Lobos with precision beyond ordinary studio standards and with a depth of feeling to match Diemecke’s.”
LONG BEACH PRESS-TELEGRAM
“Simons played quirky music to which he had a personal connection, and once again proved irresistible. A cool operator on stage, Simons played without score and with wonderful assurance…There was no mistaking the intonation and Paganini-like ability to make virtuosity look easy.
LOS ANGELES TIMES
“Superb Simons soars above the best… this was a brilliant performance… he played with all the nonchalance of an impish Paganini. His tone was both strong and forceful and he was able to draw an exquisite sweetness out of his instrument… Marijn played with incredible virtuosity…”
“Dutch violinist Marijn Simons made his UK debut in a tremendous reading of Saint-Saëns’ violin concerto in B minor. Rather than your average flash in the pan prodigy, Simons is already composing music on a scale that suggests a substantial career in the making.”
“…The event of the evening was the soloist, the 16 year old Dutchman Marijn Simons. Obviously the Lord God had laid a violin in his cradle. He performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with a simple boyish carefree manner, perfect mature technique, a flourishing tone, a compelling spirit, breathtaking musicality and without any respect for the feared double stops and octaves. It was simply overwhelming.
When you have experienced the mannered vanity of Anne Sophie Mutter, this violin playing is a purifying rejuvenation. Not only with his performance of Mendelssohn, but as an encore he played a daredevil Paganini Capriccio with the same sympathetic confident, but modest attitude. An exceptional talent, who will without doubt make a name for himself. Thunderous applause and again an incredible excitement in the auditorium.”
“Aachen. It rarely happens that the audience in the Eurogress is so affected by a soloist with heart and soul as by the 16 year old violinist Marijn Simons. The young master from Geleen turned his performance into a personal triumph.
The Dutchman showed everything an artist of his age needs to win the sympathy of the audience. He radiated (including his blue waistcoat) the colour of youthfulness in the rather monotone concert hall, showed plenty of spirit and a sparkle of frivolity in his playing, which can be a risky undertaking, however this led to a phenomenal performance.
Accompanied harmoniously, and with flexibility, by the Symphony Orchestra Aachen, conducted by the Sicilian guest conductor Giuseppe Cataldo, Simons’ playing in the first part (Andante) of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto had a contagious effect by his wholehearted invigorating freshness. His sonorous violin tone filled the hall like a delightful silver-like stream – anyone able to control his emotions would have had to be made of stone.”