Simon Harden was born in Dublin and has lived and pursued his career as a musician in Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Paris. Following a primary degree in Music and History of Art at Trinity College Dublin, his studies were supported by German government scholarships at the Music Academies in Berlin (Leo van Doeselaar) and Hamburg (Wolfgang Zerer) leading to a first-class postgraduate Diplom. Further studies in Paris (Eric Lebrun) gained him a ‘Premier Prix’ and a scholarship from the City of Hamburg enabled the completion of the highest instrumental degree awarded at German Academies (Konzertexamen).
Prizes at international competitions include 1st prize and audience prize at the ‘International Schnitger Organ Competition’ 2007 in Alkmaar, Holland and 2nd prize at the Swiss ‘Grand Prix Bach de Lausanne’ 2006. Simon was selected from all the instrumental students at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg in 2006 to receive the DAAD prize for ‘outstanding performance and intercultural involvement’.
He has served as a deputy organist in both Christ Church and St Patrick’s Cathedrals and, before leaving for Germany, played regularly for the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.
Simon was Organist and Choirmaster for several years in Gettorf in northern Germany before becoming Director of Music at the Anglican Church of Christ the King in Frankfurt in 2009. In addition, in 2012, he was appointed Organist at the Christuskirche in Bad Vilbel and has overseen the rebuild of the organ there by the Glatter-Götz organ company. Before returning to Dublin in 2015 to take up a lecturing position in Organ at DIT, he taught at the Frankfurt International School. He is also a regular contributor to the international publication ‘Choir and Organ’. He is busy as a recitalist with concert engagements taking him to France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, Belarus, Bulgaria, and Japan.