Composer, Arranger and Musician
Originally from South Wales Simon Wallace graduated in music from Oxford University in 1978 before studying jazz and composition with teachers in London and New York.
In 1979 he formed a writing partnership with film and TV composer Simon Brint which continued till Brint’s death in 2011. Together they scored innumerable hours of material including ‘A Shocking Accident’ (Oscar for best short film 1981) and the Emmy winning HBO comedy ‘Tracey Ullman Takes On New York’ They wrote and produced music for some of Britain’s most popular television shows including ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ , ‘Monarch of the Glen’, ‘French and Saunders’, ‘Fry and Laurie’ and many others. In the course of working on TV shows he acted as arranger and MD for many great singers including Kylie Minogue, Marianne Faithful, Lulu, Suggs, Sinead O’Connor Boy George, P.P. Arnold, Colin Bluntstone and Mari Wilson.
From 1994 till her death in 2011 he wrote songs with veteran American lyricist and beat generation survivor Fran Landesman. Theatre shows based on their work were produced in London, Bath, Edinburgh, New York and Gdansk. More than 30 of their songs have been recorded by jazz singers on both sides of the Atlantic. The Observer newspaper once described them as ‘one of the finest songwriting partnerships alive’.
In 2006 his three movement ‘Fanfare and Rhapsody’ for the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, was premiered at a concert in honour of His Majesty The King of Thailand. His connection with the orchestra dates back to1987 when he was commissioned to write a five movement symphony as part of HM the King’s 60th birthday celebrations.
Simon has worked extensively in theatre both as a composer and a musical director. He was MD for the West End production and cast album of ‘Elegies for Angel Punks and Raging Queens’ (1994) and supervisor for ‘Money to Burn’ (2002) . He has had work produced by the National Theatre (‘Kabaret’ 1997) and the Royal Shakespeare Company (‘There’s Something Irresistible In Down’ 1996). From 1990 to 1993 he toured Europe, Japan and South America with maverick theatre genius Lindsay Kemp playing music devised in collaboration with composer/ percussionist Joji Hirota. As musical director for award winning British jazz singer Clare Teal, he arranged and MDd the CD ‘Don’t Talk’ (SonyBMG) as well as numerous broadcasts with the BBC Big Band and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Over the years he has worked with a diverse range of musicians from award winning jazz groups to Jeff Beck, Hubert Sumlin and the Waterboys. In the past few years he has worked as pianist/MD for singers Barb Jungr, Gill Manly and Sarah Moule appearing regularly at London venues such as Ronnie Scotts Club, the 606 Club, the Purcell Room and the Vortex and at The Cafe Carlyle, the Metropolitan Room and Joe’s Pub in New York.