The English conductor and organist, Simon Wright, was educated at Chetham's School, Manchester where he was a member of the Cathedral Choir under Allan Wicks. In 1967 he was awarded an Organ Scholarship to the Royal Manchester College of Music where he studied organ, piano, double bass, accompaniment and conducting. At the age of 18 he gained Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists, winning the Turpin Prize in the process. A regular accompanist of the Hallé Choir, he often working with Sir John Barbirolli.
In 1971 Simon Wright was appointed Organist of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire and Assistant Director of Music at Ampleforth College where he is responsible for all the activities of the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. Since 1976 he has been Chorus Master of Leeds Festival Chorus. He is a member of the Spohr Trio and since 1978 has been pianist and conductor of The Music Serenade. He was a prize-winner in the 1986 Leeds Conducting Competition.
Throughout his professional career, which embraces roles as organist, accompanist, arranger and teacher, Simon Wright, has become established as a musician of enormous integrity, winning the admiration of musicians, audiences and critics alike. As a conductor he has earned considerable respect and acclaim for his interpretations of wide-ranging and of challenging orchestral and choral repertoire.
In the UK, Simon Wright has conducted many British orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, English Northern Philharmonia, Manchester Camerata, Northern Sinfonia and Northern Chamber Orchestra. He has been Musical Director of the Britten Singers since 1992, a choir which he has established as one of the most versatile choral groups in the UK. He holds two other important positions, as Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the Leeds Festival Chorus and as Musical Director and Principal Conductor of the City of York Guildhall Orchestra. He is deeply committed to the music of the 20th century and has conducted many orchestral and choral premières.
Simon Wright has toured extensively within Europe, appearing at many major festivals including Edinburgh and Madrid. He made his American début in New York in 1986. As conductor, keyboard player and arranger he has worked frequently with trumpet player John Wallace OBE, and with the Wallace Collection.
Simon Wright’s recordings with John Wallace, the Wallace Collection and with the Philharmonia Orchestra form a major part of his discography which includes recordings on the EMI, Nimbus, Collins Classics and IMP Masters tabels.