Mark G. Simon
shows that he is a true artistic heir of Leonard Bernstein, Ned Rorem and Stephen Sondheim, in that he successfully synthesizes something of a populist voice within structures and procedures that are clearly classical in orientation and purpose. – John McLaughlin Williams
Mark G. Simon is an accomplished musician both as a composer and as a clarinetist. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from Cornell University, where he studied with Karel Husa, Steven Stuckey and Robert Palmer. His compositions include orchestral, chamber and vocal works, many featuring the clarinet. His musical Jennie’s Will was commissioned for the bicentennial of the Village of Dryden, New York. The Carnival of the Subatomic Particles, a 13-movement exploration of particle physics for chamber ensemble and narrator set to a poem by Cornell physicist N. David Mermin, was commissioned and premiered by Music’s Recreation in Ithaca, New York, with narrator Barbara Mink. This work was also featured in the Summer 2007 edition of Physics Today. In 2004, he collaborated with actor and director Davide Giovanzana on Red and Brown, a dramatic work uniting mime, masks and music from Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Schubert and Simon himself. Red and Brown was performed in Ithaca, New York in January, 2004 by The Notorious Company and Music’s Recreation, and at the Fringe Festival in New York City in August, 2004. He recently composed a Duo for Mandolin and Guitar for the German plectral duo Ahlert & Schwab, who gave it its first performance in Bottrop, Germany in November 2011.
Simon is a clarinet student of Steven Hartman (New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, Brooklyn Philharmonic). He has performed with the Binghamton Philharmonic, the Ithaca Opera Association, the Cornell Contemporary Ensemble, the Tri-Cities Opera, the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, the Prince George’s Philharmonic, and Avanti—the Orchestra of the Friday Morning Music Club, and appeared in recital with pianists Aleeza Meir, Wendy Maraniss and Rosanne Conway. He has performed music of Karel Husa, Witold Lutoslawski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Paol Ruders, Joan Tower and Howard Sandroff in the presence of the composers.
From 1987 to 2007 he taught clarinet and music theory at the Community School of Music and Arts in Ithaca, New York, where he directed a clarinet ensemble open to all who play the clarinet. Many of the clarinet ensemble compositions and arrangements to be found on this site were created for this group, including the CSMA Rag, The Philosopher’s Rag and Kandahar Rag.
Mark G. Simon currently lives in Rockville, Maryland. When not involved in musical activities, he works as a librarian at the Library of Congress.