Simon Parkin

Improvisation and Piano
Photo of Simon Parkin

Biographical Info

Simon Parkin was born in Manchester. He went to the Yehudi Menuhin School at the age of 10 and trained there as a pianist. An early interest in composition was encouraged there, and at 17 Simon entered Manchester University and the RNCM as a composition student. Upon graduation he was invited onto the staff at RNCM, where he has taught a range of practically-based subjects including aural, improvisation, composition and arranging. He is now Deputy Head of Academic Studies at the RNCM.  He has also taught improvisation and composition at both the Menuhin and the Purcell music schools.

Simon has developed his role as an accompanist/duo pianist, enjoying a comprehensive repertoire, and as well as his partnership with the ‘cellist Hannah Roberts he works regularly with artists such as Ralph Kirshbaum, and has performed with a range of international artists at festivals and in recital.. He is regularly invited as pianist for instrumental classes at IMS Prussia Cove, London Masterclasses and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Masterclasses, and has recorded a recital disk with violinist Detlef Hahn.

As an arranger, Simon is much in demand, and in addition to his role as Arranger in Residence for  Manchester Camerata, for whom he produces arrangements in varied styles and for a range of ensembles his work has featured in the commercial recordings of international artists and ensembles  including Sheku Kanneh-MasonJess Gillam and the Sakura Cello Quintet. The recently released number-one-selling CD ‘Elgar’ by Sheku contains 5 of Simon’s arrangements, and he has more pending on future releases by Decca. He is now signed as an arranger to Faber Music Publishing. His content can be accessed via

Simon, who was awarded a PhD in composition by manchester University, is an award-winning composer with an extensive catalogue of performed works. His latest ongoing project is to compose a piece for every day of the year, for various instruments together with piano. Some of the ‘December’ pieces, for double bass and piano, were recently recorded by Leon Bosch on Meridian.

Simon is currently Director of Concerts for the Manchester Midday Concerts Society.

On the summer school Simon will be teaching improvisation, musical analysis and piano.



Categories: CIPSS Part Two