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Mark Simpson



English composer and clarinettist Mark Simpson made his Royal Opera debut in 2016 with Pleasure, a co-commission and co-production between The Royal Opera, Aldeburgh Music and Opera North.

Simpson was born in Liverpool. In 2006 he became the first person to win both the BBC Young Musician and BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composer of the Year competitions in the same year. He went on to study music at Oxford University and composition with Julian Anderson at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2012 he was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust and joined BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists Scheme. Further awards include the 2010 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Award, a 2014 Borletti Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award and the 2016 South Bank Sky Arts Award. His compositions include The Immortal for Manchester International Festival, a mirror fragment… for Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, sparks for BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Last Night of the Proms, Exile for National Youth Choirs of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall and Geysir for Britten Sinfonia. In 2015 he was appointed Composer in Association with the BBC Philharmonic, and in 2016 NMC released Simpson’s debut disc as a composer, Night Music.

Simpson has appeared as a clarinet soloist with orchestras including Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Philharmonic, City of London Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra and Northern Chamber Orchestra, under such conductors as Baldur Brönnimann, Andrew Davis, Gianandrea Noseda, Vasily Petrenko and Yan Pascal Tortelier. His recordings include Lindberg’s Clarinet Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Adams’s Gnarly Buttons with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

News and features

Watch: Composer Mark Simpson on Pleasure – ‘As voyeuristic as it might be, we like to see human tragedy acted out on the stage’

11 May 2016
Watch: Composer Mark Simpson on <em>Pleasure</em> – ‘As voyeuristic as it might be, we like to see human tragedy acted out on the stage’

From drag queens to intense drama, the composer on why his new piece will appeal to both newcomers and seasoned opera-goers alike.

Opera Essentials: Mark Simpson’s Pleasure

6 May 2016
Opera Essentials: Mark Simpson’s <em>Pleasure</em>

Our quick introduction to Mark Simpson’s thrilling debut opera.