Simon Crawford-Phillips

achieving an expressive intensity that made for compelling listening.

The Guardian

an enthralling figure both as a musician and a stage persona… energetic, fast, constantly and thrillingly on the front foot.

Västmanlands Tidning

Simon Crawford-Phillips

Conductor / Director / Pianist

Simon is a multi-festival director, renowned pianist, creative programmer with a passion for championing contemporary repertoire, and a chamber musician who regularly collaborates with artists such as Daniel Hope and Lawrence Power in repertoire from Haydn and Schumann to Adès, Byström, Dean and Reich. His own ensembles include The Kungsbacka Piano Trio, and Stockholm Syndrome Ensemble (resident artists at Stockholm Konzerthus). Simon is the Artistic Director of the Change Music Festival in Norra Halland, Västerås Music Festival and Co-Artistic Director of the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival. Simon is Conductor Fellow of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra working alongside chief conductor Alan Gilbert. 

Simon’s spicy and eclectic programming is reflected in an extraordinarily varied career as a conductor/director alongside his solo collaborations. Upcoming conducting engagements include Gothenburg Symphony, Uppsala, Helsingborg Symphony, and Dalasinfoniettan. Highlights have included debuts with Zurich Chamber Orchestra for an extensive European tour alongside Daniel Hope, directing Sinfonia Varsovia in Warsaw’s LutosÅ‚awski Chain Festival, and debuting Wild Waves and Woods at Kings Place with Västerås Sinfonietta, Paul Watkins and Lawrence Power. “The conductor Simon Crawford-Phillips proved to be an enthralling figure both as a musician and a stage persona… energetic, fast, constantly and thrillingly on the front foot.” (Västmanlands Tidning). Conducting engagements have included BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Nash Ensemble, the Swedish Radio Symphony, Aalborg Symphony, Polish Chamber, and English Chamber orchestras, as well as assisting Daniel Harding, Alain Altinoglu and Stanislav Kochanovsky at the Verbier Festival

In 2017 he was appointed Artistic Adviser and Chief Conductor of Västerås Sinfonietta, now extended until 2023. This season the orchestra will give two world premieres commissioned by the orchestra including Hans Ek’s Piano Concerto with Finnish jazz pianist Iiro Rtala and Reflections on 'Visa från Utanmyra’, a composite work by six leading Swedish composers. Västerås Sinfonietta’s next disc, for BIS, will feature the world premiere recording of Albert Schnelzer’s Burn my letters and A Freak in Burbank

As a pianist The Guardian says Simon has profound sensitivity and technical brilliance, achieving an expressive intensity that made for compelling listening. He performs in premiere festivals and concert halls across Europe including Verbier, Schleswig-Holstein, Edinburgh, and at Wigmore Hall where he will appear as the regular pianist with Chamber Ensemble in Residence, the acclaimed Nash Ensemble, and in recital with Daniel Hope and Lawrence Power. Notable concerto debuts include the NHK Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Alan Gilbert, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Ilan Volkov and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra directing from the keyboard.

Simon Crawford-Phillips and Lawrence Power – Debussy Beau Soir

Further highlights include multiple album releases: Simon appears on Daniel Hope’s solo release Belle Epoque, Fin de Siecle - Enescu, Debussy, Ravel and Webern for Deutsche Grammophon. Simon released Fanny and Felix for dB Productions, Felix Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto for Piano, Violin and Strings alongside Fanny Hensel Mendelssohn’s String Quartet recorded for the first time in an arrangement for string orchestra - both with Malin Broman and award-winning Swedish string orchestra, Musica Vitae. For BIS, The Kungsbacka Trio released the first volume in its Complete Schumann Piano Trio Series, and the Stockholm Syndrome Ensemble released Voices of Angels (Dean, Gubaidulina, Rachmaninov). Simon appears with the Nash Ensemble for Hyperion (Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann), and Västerås Sinfonietta’s latest recording, Nightingale, features Mendelssohn Symphony No.4 plus Alban Berg and Clara Schumann with soloist Elin Rombo.

The Kungsbacka Trio – Fauré Piano Quartet No. 2

Regular collaborators include artists such as Colin Currie, Daniel Hope, Pekka Kuusisto, Anthony Marwood, Truls Mørk, Anne Sofie von Otter, Lawrence Power, Michael Schade, Roman Simović, Torleif Thedéen, and the Danish and Elias string quartets. Passionate about contemporary music Simon has given world premieres of music by Thomas Adès, Britta Byström, Steve Reich and Mark-Anthony Turnage as well as working alongside composers Sofia Gubaidulina, Simon Holt, Colin Matthews and Huw Watkins.

Simon was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2010 and currently teaches at the Gothenburg Academy of Music and Drama.

For further projects and for print, please download Simon’s full biography.

This biography is for information only, and should not be re-printed. Please use the link below to download the version for concert programmes.

Download 2020-21 Biography (.docx)

Download 2020-21 Official Publicity Photo (.jpg) - Credit: Nikolaj Lund

Download 2020-21 Conducting Publicity Photo (.jpg) - Credit: Nikolaj Lund