John Simon was born in Cape Town in 1944. He studied composition at the Trinity College of Music and the Royal College of Music in London under James Patten and John Lambert. His works have been performed and broadcast in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Europe. Until 2005 he was Composer in Residence to the KwaZulu-Natal Phiharmonic Orchestra (the first of its kind in South Africa) and lecturer in orchestration at the School of Music, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Recent engagements include the orchestration of KwaZulu-Natal composer Phelelani Mnomiya’s Zizi Lethu (‘Our Hope’), which led to a new composition for concert orchestra, Dance to Freedom (premiered at the Cape Town International Festival, November 2007), as well as to the composition of his most recent work, A Peal of Bells for string orchestra, tubular bells and celesta, together with an alternative version for cello and piano.

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