Gwilym Simcock is one of the most gifted pianists and imaginative composers on the British scene. Able to move effortlessly between jazz and classical music, he can, at times, inhabit both worlds and has been described as stylistically reminiscent of Keith Jarrett, complete with ‘harmonic sophistication and subtle dovetailing of musical traditions’ as well as being a pianist of ‘exceptional’, ‘brilliant’ and ‘dazzling’ ability. His music has been widely acclaimed as ‘engaging, exciting, often unexpected, melodically enthralling, complex and wonderfully optimistic’.
Gwilym’s influences include jazz legends Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea and John Taylor and classical composers Maurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky, Mark-Anthony Turnage. Although principally a jazz artist, Gwilym is breaking new ground between genres and often uses classical reference points in his composed work.
Aside from his renowned solo piano work, Gwilym has worked extensively throughout Europe with the cream of British and international jazz artists including Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler, Lee Konitz, Bill Bruford’s Earthworks, Bob Mintzer and Bobby McFerrin. His own groups as leader range from trio to big band. His debut album “Perception” featured his sextet with Stan Sulzmann (saxophones), John Parricelli (guitar), Phil Donkin (bass), Martin France (drums) and Ben Bryant (percussion). was nominated for Best Album in the BBC Jazz Awards 2008 and has been critically acclaimed at home and abroad. His most recent release "Blues Vignette" features both solo piano and work with his new trio with Yuri Goloubev (bass) and James Maddren (drums). The album has been universally praised as "sublime", "flawless", "impressive" "a marker that few others are likely to equal".
Winner of the Perrier Award, BBC Jazz Awards 2005. British Jazz Awards 2005 Gwilym was the first BBC Radio 3 New Generation jazz Artist. He was voted “Jazz Musician of the Year” at the 2007 Parliamentary Jazz Awards nominated for the 2008 BBC Jazz Awards as Best Instrumentalist. His impressive formal education includes Trinity College of Music (London), Chetham’s School of Music (Manchester) – where he studied classical piano, French horn and composition and the Royal Academy of Music (London) where he graduated from the jazz course with first class honours and the coveted 'Principal's Prize' for outstanding achievement.
Recent and forthcoming Projects include:
- 2006-8 BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist – the first ever jazz artist to be appointed to the scheme. This resulted in numerous radio appearances as a solo pianist and with his the Gwilym Simcock Trio.
- A tour and commission with The Scottish Ensemble (Chamber Orchestra), 2007 broadcast on July 1st 2007 on BBC Radio Scotland and again on BBC Radio 3 on October 12th.
- A Big Band project in Cheltenham Jazz Festival, 2007 broadcast on BBC Radio on 1st June 2007
- Guest soloist on Mark Antony Turnage’s new commission with London Sinfonietta for the re-opening of the South Bank Complex at Queen Elizabeth Hall, June 2007
- Klavier Festival Ruhr – solo concert performance and live recording - Gwilym chosen by Chick Corea, June 2007. This concert was be broadcast on WDR radio and 20,000 copies were given away as a covermount CD in Germany’s leading music magazine FONOFORUM.
- Appearance at the 2007 North Sea Jazz Festival
- A commission and major tour of Cathedrals with Acoustic Triangle and Sacconi Strings in 2008
- Gwilym on the front cover of the August 2007 issue of the UK’s leading Jazz journal JAZZWISE
- Debut album “Perception” released on 5th November 2007 and tour dates in November, December 2007 and Spring/Summer 2008.
- A commission for a new work for the Aronowitz Ensemble at the City of London Festival in July 2008.
- A major commission for new work with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the BBC PROMS on August 9th 2008.
- A 2006 commission and recording for piano concerto with big band with the NDR Big Band in Germany and performed and toured again with the NDR in January 2009 and April 2009 where the final appearance wasl at the major jazz conference JazzAhead.
- A major commission for new work for the 40th anniversary of Chetham’s School on March 8th 2009 at the Bridgewater Hall.
- A major choral commission “Tales of Freedom” for Norfolk an Norwich Festival
- Appearance at the 2009 Proms on 31st August 2009 with the Aronowitz Ensemble performing his own piece “Contours” originally commission by the City of London Festival in July 2008
- 2009 UK and Far East Tour with Tim Garland’s Lighthouse Trio.
- Ongoing European and UK dates with the Gwilym Simcock Trio and the recording of a new album due for release in late 2009 followed by a European and UK Tour.
- Orchestral work for The Hague Festival, The Hague, Netherlands
- "Simple Tales" for Britten Sinfonia soloists, UK and Poland
- "Confluence" Cheltenham Music Festival commission- work for piano and string Quartet
- New Big Band Work for NDR Big Band, Germany
- Commission for classical/jazz ensemble for Leasowes Bank Festival, UK
- Mercury Nomination for solo album "Good Days at Schloss Elmau" on ACT
- Commissionn for London Vocal Project for London Jazz Festival 2011
- New work for City of London Sinfonia April 2012
- New album on ACT with LIGHTHOUSE - Simcock/Garland/Sirkis
“Gwilym’s an original. A creative genius” Chick Corea
"I feel confident that Simcock already deserves to occupy the inner circle of the great contemporary pianists along with Mehldau, Jarrett, and Rubalcaba" David Kane, Cadence U.S.A.
“This album has all the ingredients that signify the start of what has already promised to be a dazzling career”. Mark-Anthony Turnage
"If this is just the beginning, the coming years defy imagining". John Fordham, The Guardian(of Gwilym's album Perception 16th Nov 2007)
"Simcock is one of the great jazz players of the day. He's British, and it'll be interesting to hear classical music influenced by jazz. And then he's a real cat playing his own stuff as well. That'll be cool, man." Nigel Kennedy, Radio Times
"Rarely was any British pianist tipped for stardom more confidently than Gwilym Simcock" Evening Standard CD of the Week
"a jaw-droppingly exciting pianist"
James Griffiths, The Guardian
“…I'll be watching our finest young piano-player Gwilym Simcock - don't miss him while you can still see him in venues without ushers”. Jamie Cullum, The Guardian
"This … pianist is exceptional, as both player and composer." The Observer
For more information:
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