Simon Bainbridge (1952-2021)

Simon Bainbridge (1952-2021)

Here at Wise Music Classical we were saddened to hear that Novello composer Simon Bainbridge passed away on April 2 after a long illness, aged 68. 

Remembering Simon, James Rushton, former Managing Director of Novello comments: 'In Simon Bainbridge we have lost, far too early, a kind and generous human being (with an infectious sense of humour and a remarkable ear for mimicry), an inspiring and universally respected teacher, and a composer of great significance. 

Simon’s composition catalogue comprises over 60 works, orchestral, instrumental, choral and vocal, all of which are of real substance and depth. Simon was fastidious in his attention to the detail of his music, whether in relation to form, scoring or voicing, or indeed in the presentation of his scores in his precise hand. The result was always music of absolute integrity and of striking, and varied, personality.

Simon will be hugely missed but he has left for us a feast of music crying out for increased attention in performance.'

In a musical career spanning over 40 years, Simon Bainbridge composed music for many of the leading orchestras and ensembles and collaborated with a diversity of figures including architect Daniel Libeskind and jazz bass player Eddie Gomez.

In 1997 Bainbridge won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Ad Ora Incerta (1994), an orchestral song cycle for mezzo soprano and bassoon on poems by Primo Levi. In 2016 he was awarded the first-ever British Composer Award for Inspiration, in recognition of his tireless work in education.

In addition to his compositional career, Bainbridge was a highly respected teacher. He was Head of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music from 1999-2007. He received a Professorship from the University of London in 2001 and was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in 2002. He taught and lectured at the Juilliard School in New York, the Boston Conservatory of Music, Yale University and the New England Conservatory of Music. In 2009, he held a residency at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. 

He was married to English soprano and vocal coach Lynda Richardson, and father to the actress Rebecca Bainbridge. 

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