Simon Murphy (Sydney, 1973) is an international award winning, Dutch based, Australian orchestral conductor with a special focus on music of the 18th and early 19th centuries. He has attracted international media and industry praise for his fresh and engaging musical approach, delivering new musical insights and invigorating performance results on disc and on the concert platform.
A world authority on the foundation of the orchestra and 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). He 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.
Working with both specialist Baroque and modern symphony orchestras, Murphy has established an international reputation for his energising conducting and orchestral leadership techniques, described by the BBC Music Magazine as "the best of both worlds" with France's music magazine Diapason dubbing him "the repertoire-refresher" and the Netherlands' De Volkskrant heralding him as "a musician with guts".
Murphy is highly regarded for his compelling, inventive and highly practical concert programming. As a guest conductor, with his hand-tailored programmes, he presents the symphonies of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Mendelssohn in a whole new light, surrounding them with newly rediscovered 18th and 19th century orchestral masterpieces, delivering inspiring, new musical perspectives. Examples include
It's About Time around Haydn's Symphony no 101 "The Clock" with arias and other works by Mozart, Cimarosa, Paisiello and Rossini
Heaven on Earth with Haydn Symphony no 83 "La Poule", J. Schmitt "Symphony Pastoral" and Mendelssohn Symphony no 4 "Italian"
Black Magic with Von Weber "Der Freischütz" Overture and Marschner Overture to "Der Vampyr" with arias by Reichardt, Mozart, Von Weber and Lortzing
Composer's Paradise exploring the "Birth of the Symphony" at the legendary 18th court in Mannheim with Mozart's "Paris" Symphony together with arias, concertos and symphonies by Stamitz, Filz, Holzbauer and Mozart
Great Scot around Mendelsson Symphony no 3 "Scottish" and Overture "Fingal's Cave" together with Rust "Colma's Klage" and Gade's "Echoes of Ossian"
Ein Heldenleben around Beethoven Symphony no 3 "Eroica" with Romberg Overture to "Ulysses", Cimarosa Overture to "Alessandro nell'Indie", Mozart Overture to "Don Giovanni" and (Anti-)Hero/ine arias by Mozart and Rossini
Bohemian Rhapsody with Mozart Symphony no 38 "Prague" and Beethoven Symphony no 2 together with works by Vanhal and Wranitzky
and a series of programmes around Beethoven's Contemporaries including music by Spohr, Romberg, Czerny and Hummel.
Recent theatrical highlights include Murphy's new stage production Empress of Pleasure, which celebrates the infamous 18th century London actress, singer, opera impresario and mother to Casanova's daughter, "Mrs Cornelys".