Born in Liverpool, in 2006 at the age of 17 Mark Simpson became the first ever winner of both the BBC Young Musician and BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composer of the Year Competitions.
Now emerging as a major new voice, in 2012 Mark was selected by YCAT and joined the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Scheme. He went on to embark on a full publishing relationship with Boosey & Hawkes, and in 2014 won a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award.
During 2015 Mark’s new work commissioned by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and a dramatic work for solo baritone, chorus and orchestra (supported by Sky Arts Futures Fund, in association with IdeasTap) are premiered in Glasgow and Manchester. As a performer Mark takes part in concerts at the Aldeburgh International Festival and appears as soloist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Proms. Future projects include an operatic collaboration with writer Melanie Challenger (supported by a Jerwood Opera Writing Fellowship).
Between 2012-2014 Mark’s commissions included sparks which was premiered at the Last Night of the Proms, Exile for the National Youth Choirs at the Royal Albert Hall and Geysir for Britten Sinfonia. His orchestra work a mirror-fragment… received its London premiere with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican.
A passionate exponent of new music, during 2013 Mark performed and recorded the Lindberg Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Adams’ Gnarly Buttons with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and took part in the Julian Anderson Day at Wigmore Hall.
Mark read Music at St. Catherine’s College Oxford and completed an MMus in composition with Julian Anderson at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
At such a crucial stage in my development as a musician, the support of the BBT is a life line. It has given me the chance to fulfil vital things necessary for my career that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to do. Most importantly, was the chance to build a really fantastic website that brings together all the strands of my musical identity, as composer and performer. I’ve been able to purchase scores and music that I wouldn’t have been able to. And there are many other things that have helped to ease my life, and increase my productivity that I am truly grateful for. It’s an honour to be chosen as a BBT artist and a dream come true.
Photographs by Kaupo Kikkas