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Slovak Sinfonietta / Štátny komorný orchester Žilina
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Simon CHALK


Chalk_Simon_proms_1.jpgSimon Chalk was born and educated in a small mining village in South Wales and began playing the violin at age 11. He studied conducting and violin at the Birmingham Conservatoire and he spent his early career as a teacher, violinist and chamber musician with the Almira String Quartet. He has since developed a flourishing and versatile career as a conductor, leader, director and educator and has gradually relinquished the bow in favour of the baton. He is now based in the West Midlands and has performed with and conducted orchestras and ensembles both throughout the UK and internationally. Equally at home with both the classical and crossover/pop repertoire, Simon has spent a significant amount of time during the past three years touring as conductor with the internationally renowned classical crossover group ll Divo. His relationship with Il Divo has taken him across six continents, performing with a plethora of international orchestras along the way and conducting in many of the world's iconic concert halls and arenas.

Simon Chalk has conducted throughout the UK and further afield, working with a variety of eminent ensembles including the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Newcity Orchestra and the Irish Philharmonic.  A recent engagement with the Slovak Sinfonietta in Zilina saw him conducting an extremely well-received concert of British-themed repertoire of Handel, Roth, Warlock, Britten and Haydn.

Simon is also in demand as a conductor of crossover and popular music and, as such, has worked with a broad and diverse range of musicians performing in all of the UK's major concert halls and arenas. His work extends to the theatre and he recently collaborated with Westlife's Nicky Byrne in a production of "The Snowman" which was performed in Limerick and Dublin. He returned to Dublin at the O2 Arena in December 2013 to conduct this Christmas classic once again alongside guest narrator RTE's Shay Byrne and a screening of the original animated film on a huge 60ft screen.

 

In 2006 Simon was playing in the orchestra for a rehearsal before an Il Divo concert when, at short notice, he was asked to direct and conduct the orchestra. Having flirted with the pop side of music as a violinist, this was the beginning of his involvment from the podium. He went on to conduct the UK leg of Chris de Burgh's Footsteps tour and returned to work with Il Divo in 2011 when he joined them, conducting the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, in the DVD "Il Divo Live In London" which was recorded in August 2011 during two live performances in the London Coliseum.

 

2012 saw Simon conducting the Il Divo Wicked Game tour which crossed six continents and visited many of the world's iconic concert venues including the Sydney Opera House, Ceasar's Palace (Las Vegas), Nihon Budokan (Tokyo),the Beacon Theatre (Broadway, New York) and the Royal Albert Hall. In September 2012 he conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra with Il Divo on the Last Night of the Proms (Proms in the Park in Hyde Park). 2013 saw Simon once again travelling extensively as the conductor for Il Divo in performances across Europe and North America for the "Greatest Hits" tour. Additionally, he worked with mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins as she collaborated with Il Divo during the European leg of the tour. Simon recently conducted a Film Spectacular for the Suffolk Proms which was compered by Brian Blessed and featured guest soloist soprano Laura Wright.
Most of 2014 will see Simon touring again as conductor with Il Divo as the group undertakes its "A Musical Affair World Tour".  During this tour Simon will also be working with Tony and Olivier Award winning singer and actress Lea Salonga who is joining the group as special guest.


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