Bio

 

Simon Fink headshot

Simon Fink is a composer and songwriter. His work has abiding interests in Americana, song forms, and multimedia. Recent pieces have included The Open Boat, an electroacoustic opera based on the work of Stephen Crane premiered by Black House Collective; MIC CHECK, a commission from the Assembly Saxophone Quartet; and a collaborative performance piece with actor/writer David Wayne Reed

Simon’s music has been played and premiered by artists such as eighth blackbird, the Pacifica Quartet, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Tony Arnold, and Ian Howell, among many other outstanding musicians. He has won honorable recognition from organizations like the American Composers Forum, the New York Youth Symphony, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and his music has been featured at festivals and conferences including MATA, the Staunton Music Festival, and the MoMA (NY) Documentary Fortnight Festival. He has been a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, the MacDowell Colony, and the I-Park Artists’ Enclave.

Simon’s electronic work juxtaposes the aesthetics of the natural and the technological and is frequently collaborative in nature. In 2009 he became the first composer to win an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award for a piece incorporating electronics (Electric Pastoral). In 2011 he was awarded a prize for his site-specific, electro-acoustic collaboration, Dock & Load, at the Music in Architecture — Architecture in Music Symposium at the University of Texas. Simon worked as an audio recording intern at Houston’s renowned SugarHill Recording Studios, and his music has been featured in concerts by S.E.A.M.U.S, Electronic Music Midwest, and C.C.R.M.A. at Stanford.

Simon studied violin with Kevin Lawrence at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and graduated with honors from Rice University with a B.M. in Music Composition. Working under a dissertation fellowship from the Mellon Foundation, he completed his Ph.D. in Music Composition at the University of Chicago. His mentors included Marta Ptaszynska and Shulamit Ran in composition and Howard Sandroff in computer music. He has taught at the University of Chicago, Missouri Western State University, and William Jewell College and has served on the boards of newEar and KcEMA.

Simon’s other interests include a fascination with American folk music. While in Texas, he performed as a fiddler alongside some of the state’s most distinguished traditional players, Alvin Crow and Valerie Ryals O’Brien. Simon’s folk/pop project, Still Lost Bird Music, was featured on the record-breakingly popular iPhone game Tap Tap Revenge and released its second album, a lush cycle of (mostly) turn-of-the century text-settings, on DashGo Records in 2011. His traditional folk/bluegrass band, Under the Big Oak Tree, recently released its second album on MudStomp Records.

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