Simon Passmore was born in Hexham in 1990 and began piano lessons at the age of seven, studying with Hexham Abbey’s then director of music Michael Haynes and then with Newcastle University’s head of keyboard David Murray.
He has given solo piano recitals at numerous festivals across the UK and has featured as a concerto soloist both in the UK and abroad with orchestras including Young Sinfonia (Northern Sinfonia’s youth counterpart), RNCM’s Brand New Orchestra and Vacation Chamber Orchestra (VaCO).
Simon is currently the Director of Music at St. Ann’s Church, Manchester, following in the footsteps of his mentor, Canon Ronald Frost, who held the post for 38 years and performed over 1000 free recitals.
After finishing a BMus at the RNCM, studying with Murray McLachlan, Simon completed the repetiteur course supported by a full scholarship. His awards whilst an undergraduate included the Alfred Clay Prize for the highest final recital mark, the Christopher Duke prize, the EPTA piano prize, the “Premier Prix Pianos Maene” in Brussels and the Prix Madonna.
Aside from music, Simon is a keen football fan and hopes to see Plymouth Argyle succeed beyond anybody’s reasonable expectations.
Simon works with Thomas Verity in The Verity / Passmore Duo which is dedicated to exploring the wealth of music written for clarinet and piano – as well as adding to it by unearthing lesser-known pieces, and through commissions and innovative transcriptions. They have a special interest in music from the British Isles, and have given world première performances of music by Simon Parkin, Martin Bussey and Peter Hope.
Thomas and Simon have been playing together since 2010, with performances to date including recitals in Manchester (St Ann’s Church, RNCM, Hallé St Peter’s), New Brighton, Burnley, Rochdale, Bury and Warrington. They have also played in Brantwood House (home of John Ruskin), the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Birkenhead, Didsbury Arts Festival and at the Swaledale and Northern Aldborough Festivals. The Duo has been shortlisted for the Park Lane Group’s Young Artists’ Concert Series in London.