Silvia Simons

"Silvia Simons' music has an exquisite beauty, logic and balance".

Chris Turner, Pianist/Composer

"It is such a thrill to hear Silvia Simons picking up the flag that Stockhausen and Xenakis waved seventy years ago and doing something more wonderful still.  She brings a touch of lyricism and beauty to all her work, of which neither of those composers was capable."

Photo by Victor Kazan

Silvia Simons grew up in Zurich, Switzerland.  She then went to Australia and studied Music Composition & Theatre Arts at La Trobe University Melbourne,  Her main composition teachers were Keith Humble & Lawrence Whiffin.

She undertook postgraduate studies in Early Music with John Stinson & Japanese Theatre with Ian Carruthers.

2019:  IRCAM Paris, Forum conference and workshops 27 - 29 March.

2018:  Darmstadt New Music Institute Summer Course, incl. individual sessions with Younghi Pagh-Paan, Brian Ferneyhough and George Lewis.  Included the premiere of Silvia's work Cigales - 3rd Chant (2018) for three cellists at the concert presentation of the "Composing for Cello" workshops with Younghi Pagh-Paan & Lucas Fels.  Performed by cellists Leo Morello, Valerie Fritz & Kei Yamazawa.

 

She has won recognition and awards from international composition competitions, e.g.:

  • Leibniz' Harmonien 2016 International Composition Competition: 1st prize ex aequo in the category Sound Art

  • Astra Chamber Music Society's Young Composers Competitions, selected composer in 3 consecutive years, culminating in concerts featuring Soprano Merlyn Quaife

  • Competition for Chamber Music Winterthur, Switzerland

  • International Prokofiev Competition, St Petersburg. 

  • Radio broadcasts & performances of her work in Australia, Europe & the United States, e.g.: on broadcasts by ABC Classic FM and 3MBS Fine Music Melbourne.

 

Musicians and organizations who premiered and/or recorded her work include:

  • MCL Pathways Concerts 2018 - Premiere of Chiaroscuro for Solo Piano

  • Pianist Michael Kieran Harvey     

  • Contrabassist Anita Hustas         
  • Percussionist Peter Neville          

  • Shakuhachi player Anne Norman

  • Peter Sheridan and Namatjira Morgan - Melbourne Composers' League concert November 2016

  •  Orlando Cela's  performances in the US & Europe and recorded on CD - Flute Solo Kalon, written for Cela's "Project Extended 2011/2012": the composer was only allowed to employ 'extended techniques' - no 'normal' flute sounds whatsoever.

  • 3rd International Sfogato Arts Festival in Cracow, Poland 2012, premiered her sound art work An Australian Incantation.

  • Melbourne Composers' League concert 2012, performed by Yi Wang, Tim Veldman, Gabrielle Halloran, Alister Barker, Chien Hsiu Ong - string quintet Indigo Realms

  • Melbourne Composers' League concert 2009 - Ice Flowers in Black Nights for piano (Michael Kieran Harvey), Contrabass (Anita Hustas) & Percussion (Peter Neville)

  • City of Melbourne: her spatial work Silence in SoundSpace for the installation of 39 Federation Bells can be heard in an evolving weekly schedule in the heart of Melbourne since 2016.

  • Australasian Computer Music Conference 2014  -  60x60 Melbourne  -  sound art miniature Terraustralis

  • Doors Open Milwaukee 2015 / ACM Chicago - Dialogue with Space for Solo Violin & electroacoustic sound track.  Performed by violinist Elizabeth Warne.

  • Vox Novus New York - 60x60 Dance Louisiana Mix 2015 - sound art miniature Spheres 2

  • Radiophrenia 2015 @ Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow - shorts 6 - antenna - sound art

  • WaveFarm NY - on The Cutty Strange 2015 - sound art short

Commissioned work includes:

  • Doors Open Milwaukee 2015 / ACM Chicago - Work for Solo Violin & electroacoustic sound track

  • Gade for WESTRINGS (Youth String Orchestra) by the Footscray Arts Centre, Melbourne

  • A score for an original adaptation of Oedipus Rex by The Intimate Theatre St Kilda, Melbourne

In 2017, Silvia Simons founded Ensemble Newly Formed, an experimental improvisation ensemble with a cross-art-form approach, pushing conventional boundaries and notions of music.  A key member is writer/poet/sound poet Peter Murphy; the ensemble thus also gives performances at Spoken Word events and festivals in Melbourne which enjoys one of the most vibrant writers’ scenes in the world.
 

Her work as actor & director includes a dramatic recitation, scored with piano accompaniment by Anthony Briggs, of Yevtushenko’s The Heirs of Stalin with Michael Kieran Harvey on piano, recorded & broadcast by ABC FM.
Her theatre company specialized in daring adaptations of theatre classics such as Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author and Dürrenmatt's Play Strindberg for the annual Melbourne Fringe Arts Festival.  It also embarked on collaborations with Lindsay Edward’s Intimate Theatre St. Kilda, a chamber theatre situated in a Victorian Colonial mansion which during its existence quickly became known as a gem among Melbourne theatre connoisseurs.

 

She performed regularly with experimental cross-art-form improvisation groups such as Unamunos Quorum, Poet Ashley J. Higgs, The Crystal Set Melbourne and with composer/contrabassist Peter Simondson.

Creations for visual media include music for filmmaker Bruno Scrobogna & graphic artist Silvio Iovanna.

                                              2017/2018: Music for Jeremy's Cybele Makeover, short film by Gluck Productions

 

Silvia Simons is a member of:

  • Melbourne Composers’ League

  • The Boston New Music Initiative (Associate Member)

Some of her early work is represented in the Bibliothèque Bozidar Kantuser @ Médiathèque Hector Berlioz, Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris.