Simon Murphy

A world authority on the early, classical symphony, Murphy's discography includes world première presentations of works by 18th century symphonists Stamitz, Richter, Schmitt ("The Dutch Haydn"), Schwindl, Graaf and Zappa (PentaTone Classics). Murphy has won major industry awards, including the Netherlands' Edison Music Award and his ground-breaking 2003 recording of Corelli's Concerti Grossi was voted as one of the top five highlights in the 30 year history of the Holland Festival of Early Music Utrecht. 

European festival highlights have included productions for the Händel Festspiele Halle, Bachfest Leipzig, Thüringer Bachwochen, Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, Istanbul Music Festival, Roma Europa Festival and the Festival van Vlaanderen. International concert touring has taken Murphy through Europe, the U.S., Canada, Russia, Asia and Australia, with broadcasts for the NTR, RNW, EBU, DLF, HR, MDR, RAI and ABC. Recent conducting highlights in the Netherlands have included cycles of Stamitz, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Mendelssohn symphonies for Dutch radio at The Hague's Philipszaal, De Doelen in Rotterdam and Amsterdam's Het Concertgebouw..

Simon Murphy was born on 26 August 1973 in Balmain, Sydney. He started started learning violin at age of four and changing to viola at age 11. Before he moved to the Netherlands in 1996, he completed his undergraduate degree in music performance, musicology and fine arts at the University of Sydney in 1996. Specifically, he studied the viola with Leonid Volovelsky and early music performance with Hans-Dieter Michatz and Geoffrey Lancaster. At his first year living in the Netherlands, he studied Baroque viola with Alda Stuurop and took masterclasses with Lucy van Dael and Sigiswald Kuijken.

"Murphy is a musician with "guts": a conductor with the passion and conviction of a born missionary" De Volkskrant Netherlands.

Murphy is a musician with "guts": a conductor with the passion and conviction of a born missionary

Murphy was the first conductor who has made the world-première recordings of Francesco Zappa’s symphonies and Joseph Schmitt’s early symphonic and chamber music. His presentation to the world through his international performances let him apprise previously ignored symphonic music, especially from the mid 18th century musical centres of Mannheim and the Netherlands.

As a conductor who has devoted his work in classical music since his earlier life, Simon Murphy has received several awards such as the Dutch Edison Award in 2004 and the Luxembourg’s Supersonic Award in 2006. Additionally, his conduct on Corelli’s Concerti Grossi at the Utrecht Early Music Festival in 2003 was chosen as one of the top 5 highlights of the festival’s 30 year history. Alongside with aforementioned rewards, his live performances are documented in more than 50 recordings including his world premiere presentations of works of 18th century symphonists Stamitz, Richter, Shmitt, Graaf, Schwindl, and Zappa.

Murphy is highly regarded for his creative and practical approach to concert and festival programming. Recent highlights include Black Magic, a programme exploring the late 18th century obsession with the supernatural, and the successful new stage production Mrs Cornelys' Entertainments, which celebrates the infamous 18th century London actress, singer, opera impresario and mother to Casanova's daughter, “Mrs Cornelys” a.k.a. The Empress of Pleasure. At the request of the Dutch government, he has regularly programmed, arranged and performed music for cultural diplomacy programmes, state visits and other major bilateral events, including in Rome, New York, Beijing and Sydney. In 2012 Murphy was appointed music programmer and artistic advisor to The Hague's new Embassy Festival. He is also curator of classical music for the Netherlands' Prinsjesfestival.

I wanted it to be truly amazing and ground-breaking, and I had worked my backside off to make that happen

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