Simon Robson trained as an actor and wrote initially for the theatre. His first play The Ghost Train Tattoo was premiered in 2000 at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester — the theatre where he spent the majority of his acting career, and where his many roles included Higgins in Shaw’s Pygmalion and Elyot Chase in Coward’s Private Lives. His play American Soap was produced on the RSC Fringe the following year. In prose his collection of short stories, The Separate Heart (Cape, 2007) was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor prize and was second in the Edge Hill Short Story prize. This was followed by a novel, Catch, (Cape, 2010). As a writer he has a great interest in collaborating with musicians, including writing narrative and dramatic programmes for ensembles such as Ex Cathedra, the Belgian early music group Vox Luminis and the French baroque orchestra Les Arts Florissants for which he wrote an adaptation of Purcell’s Indian Queen. In 2018 the opera Schoenberg in Hollywood, for which he wrote the libretto, was premiered by Boston Lyric Opera, with music by Tod Machover. It was due to be revived at the Volksoper in Vienna when lockdown came. He and Tod are about to begin work on a new opera together. Simon teaches piano in London where he lives with his wife and two teenage sons and is currently working on a new collection of stories reflecting on his experience of teaching music to children. He has recently completed his second novel, Matchstick Girl.
De Montfort University 2021/22