B i o g r a p h y
Simon Blendis enjoys an international career as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestra leader. He was the violinist with the Schubert Ensemble from 1995-2018, when the Ensemble retired after a celebrated 35 year career. With the Ensemble, Simon performed in over thirty different countries, recorded over twenty CDs of music ranging from Brahms to Judith Weir, made frequent broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and appeared regularly at Europe’s major venues such as the Wigmore Hall in London and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In 1999 the group won the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award for best chamber group, for which it was shortlisted again in 2010. The Ensemble left behind a significant legacy including 50 commissions and a major library of filmed performances on its YouTube channel, details of which can be found at www.schubertensemble.com
Alongside his work in the Ensemble, Simon has shared the position of First Concertmaster with Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan since 1999, and in 2014 was appointed Concertmaster of the London Mozart Players, the UK's oldest chamber orchestra. As well as leading the orchestra he regularly directs from the violin, as well as performing as a soloist and with the LMP Chamber Ensemble. He is also in demand as a guest concertmaster: he has appeared with most of the UK's major orchestras, including all of the London orchestras, as well as with several orchestras abroad, including the Orquesta Nacional de Espana and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
A keen exponent of new music, Simon has given over 50 first performances, and has had new pieces written for him by, amongst others, Tansy Davies, Stuart Macrae, John Woolrich and jazz legend Dave Brubeck. He has premiered new violin concertos written for him by David Knotts (2013) and Jeff Moore (2017).
As a soloist he has performed and recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the BCMG in the UK and with Orchestra Enesmble Kanazawa in Japan, with whom he has recorded Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for the Warner Japan label.
Simon has recently been appointed a Professor of Violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.