Gwilym Simcock, piano

Gwilym Simcock is one of the most gifted pianists and imaginative composers on the European scene. He moves effortlessly between jazz and classical music, with a “harmonic sophistication and subtle dovetailing of musical traditions.” Simcock has been hailed as a pianist of “exceptional,” “brilliant” and “dazzling” ability.

Simcock’s influences are wide ranging, from jazz legends including Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Jaco Pastorius and Pat Metheny to classical composers including Maurice Ravel, Henri Dutilleux, Béla Bartók and Mark-Anthony Turnage. Although principally a jazz artist, Simcock has composed numerous works for larger classical ensemble that combine composed elements with improvisation, creating a sound that is distinctive and very much his own.

In the last few years, Simcock has become renowned for his solo performances, releasing a critically-acclaimed album Good Days at Schloss Elmau in 2011 and touring throughout Europe, Australia, the U.S., Canada, Korea and China. He has toured extensively with jazz artists including Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler, Lee Konitz, Bill Bruford’s Earthworks, Bob Mintzer and Bobby McFerrin. He co-leads the Anglo-American supergroup The Impossible Gentlemen with British guitar legend Mike Walker, Steve Rodby and Adam Nussbaum. He has toured with classical virtuoso Nigel Kennedy. He is currently on tour with Pat Metheny, Antonio Sánchez and Linda Oh.

Simcock has also written music that has appeared on television and on stage, most recently composing the music for an adaptation of Edward Albee's classic A Delicate Balance at the Almeida theatre in London. He has frequently appeared on British television and radio, and he was guest presenter on Saturday Classics and a guest on Composer of the Week on BBC Radio 3. He mentored and accompanied the finalists at the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year awards on BBC 4 TV in both 2014 and 2016.

Simcock’s debut album Perception was nominated for Best Album in the BBC Jazz Awards 2008. Subsequent albums have been universally praised with reviews citing his work as "sublime” and “flawless.”

Simcock’s awards include Best Band at the Perrier Award, Rising Star at the BBC Jazz Awards and the British Jazz Awards, and both Jazz Musician of the Year and Best Band (with The Impossible Gentlemen) at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. His impressive formal education includes Trinity College of Music (London), Chetham’s School of Music (Manchester) – where he studied classical piano, French horn and composition – and the Royal Academy of Music (London) where he graduated from the jazz course with first class honors and the coveted Principal's Prize for outstanding achievement.

Gwilym Simcock is currently professor of jazz piano at the Royal Academy of Music.