Simon Murphy has established an international reputation for his engaging, energising and refreshing approach to orchestral leadership and for his finely honed skills as an ensemble builder. As a guest conductor, his highly effective working style achieves both immediate results and contributes to strategic long term ensemble development.
He is a world authority on the early classical symphony, bringing new life to the symphonies of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven as well as introducing modern orchestras and their audiences to newly rediscovered 18th and 19th century orchestral masterworks. His handcrafted concert programmes (both one-offs and series) feature fresh, appealing titles such as It's About Time
, Roman Holiday, Black Magic
and Ein Heldenleben
. See Guest Conducting and Guest Conducting Programmes. Festival and Concert Programming
Simon Murphy is an experienced concert and festival programmer, enjoying successes particularly in the areas of concert programming, season programming, CD programming, and the programming of music and multi-disciplinary festivals.
In his time as artistic director of The Hague's Baroque orchestra, the New Dutch Academy, he has developed a proven programming track record - creating for the city three entirely new concert series, an annual festival, new education, community art and outreach programmes, as well award-winning CD recordings, concert broadcasts and radio documentaries.
Simon Murphy's hallmark programming style is the creation of attractive, engaging and ground-breaking programmes with appealing and distinctive titles. Delivering satistfying, in-depth looks at specific themes or musical ideas, Murphy stimulates, inspires, entertains and educates his audiences. Examples include Black Magic
, Birth of the Symphony
, Fêtes Galantes
, Autumn Leaves
, Goodnight Vienna
and French Kiss
(see Guest Conducting Programmes page for more details). Presenter/Public Speaker
Simon Murphy is an engaging presenter, public speaker and lecturer. Recent speaking engagements have included the Getty Center in L.A., at the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands and the Royal Academy in Sweden. He loves introducing his own concerts in pre-concert talks, and always greets his audiences with a short welcome and musical introduction during his concerts. His engaging and personable style has also made him a popular radio guest and guest radio-programmer/presenter. Cultural Heritage
Simon Murphy has vast experience in shedding new light on both well-known and newly rediscovered cultural heritage. He delights in rediscovering musical figures, musical schools and new links between places, composers and musicians. Through his research, performing, recording and broadcasting work, he has been responsible for putting major singular historical musical figures as well as the musical heritages of entire cities and countries back on the international musical map.
His groundbreaking research, performance and recording work uncovering and profiling the previously unknown Dutch 18th century symphonic school. He has succeeded in re-introducing this vibrant and cosmopolitan Dutch musical heritage, working with local and national Dutch government to promote this newly found heritage internationally.
He has rediscovered and championed works by negelected 18th century composers such as Stamitz, Richter, Schmitt "The Dutch Haydn", Graaf, Schwindl and Zappa presenting their symphonic music to the world through international concerts, festival appearances, radio broadcasts and world-première CD recordings. Cultural Diplomacy
Simon Murphy has more than 10 years experience in the field of international cultural diplomacy. He has developed and carried out comprehensive cultural programmes for both diplomatic and economic missions, working for the foreign ministeries of countries including the Netherlands and Australia. Other projects have been in co-operation with the governments of Germany, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Italy and the Czech Republic.
As a cultural ambassador, Simon Murphy has represented the Netherlands and Australia at numerous official international cultural events. In 2004 he programmed and conducted the music for Her Majesty Queen Beatrix's state visit to Italy with performances of Dutch and Italian Baroque music in Rome broadcast live on Italian radio and TV. In 2006, he programmed the musical celebrations for the 400 year anniversary of the commencement of relations between Australia and the Netherlands with festival events in both countries. In 2009, he programmed and performed the Dutch contribution to the cultural olympiade in Vancouver, accompanying a visit by members of the House of Orange to Canada. For the bilateral Dutch U.S. celebrations of "Hudson 400", he created and performed a special presentation of recently rediscovered Dutch 17th and 18th century music in New York.
Current activities include the conceptualisation, planning and implementation of international cultural solution programmes for multi-nationals in developing areas. Recitals on Baroque and Classical Viola, and on Violoncello Piccolo
Simon Murphy is a highly experienced, specialised recitalist on Baroque and Classical Viola in repertoire ranging from Bach and sons to Graun, Stamitz, Rust, Hummel, Glinka and Mendelssohn, regularly appearing at leading international series, halls and festivals. He also performs on the reconstruction of Bach's own cello, the (hand held) Violoncello Piccolo or "baby cello", the instrument for which Bach wrote the 6th "Cello" Suite. He was recently invited to give a special series of recitals on this instrument in original Bach castles as part of the Bachfest Leipzig and Thü
Murphy's recital partners have included lutenist Karl Nyhlin and harpsichordists Menno van Delft and Mahan Esfahani. Alongside solo recitals, Murphy greatly enjoys playing a wide range of chamber music with his colleagues. Recent programmes have explored the genre of the early 19th century Viennese notturno and serenade, and music for string quartet, quintet and sextet by Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and their lesser known contemporaries. See Recitals
. Workshops, Masterclasses and Coaching
Simon Murphy is a highly experienced and passionate, international educator. He has given workshops, master-classes and coachings in the areas of historical performance practice, chamber music, orchestral performance, repertoire, musical aesthetics and on (modern and Baroque) string playing at leading international education institutions including The Royal Conservatorium in The Hague, The Conservatorium of Sydney, The Royal College in Stockholm, Glinka Conservatorium in Nizhny Novgorod, The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and Central Conservatory Beijing. Murphy is also a highly experienced one-on-one teacher on Baroque and modern violin and viola. Researcher
Simon Murphy's extensive research on musical topics including Baroque and Classical orchestral performance practice and the birth of the phenomenon of the symphony has resulted in ground-breaking new insights into music, music history and repertoire as well as the creation of entirely new soundscapes. Focus areas have included the 18th century Mannheim court and Corelli's orchestra. His pioneering research into Dutch musical life of the 18th century has uncovered the previously unknown Dutch 18th century symphonic school.
Murphy has communicated the results of his research through his concert, broadcasting, publishing and CD activities. His ongoing musical research continues to fuel the creation of new concert and recording programmes. Current topics of interest include later 18th century/early 19th century German symphonic and theater music of the generations of Reichardt, Weber, Mendelssohn and Lortzing, and Italian opera of the Rossini and pre-Rossini generation of Cimarosa and Paisiello. Music Writer
Murphy has written extensively on musical topics, including numerous CD liner notes, concert programme notes and scholarly articles. He has been commissioned to write articles for various professional music publications, as well as more popular magazines looking at music from various, multi-disciplinary perspectives.