Simon Grant studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and began his career as a member of the BBC Singers. He sang with the Swingle Singers for several years, acting as their musical director upon Ward Swingle’s retirement. This vocal octet was able to dispense with its rhythm section when it was discovered that Simon could provide a simultaneous rhythm and bass line vocally. He appeared in a TV commercial for Honda, and for T-mobile, enabling him to show off his extensive extended vocal techniques! His vocal ‘special effects’ were used in Hollywood for the 2007 Academy Awards, when he helped recreate vocally the soundtracks to famous scenes from movies such as Jaws (the shark approaching!), Brief Encounter (a departing train) and Psycho (murder in the shower). He can whistle and hum at the same time, an unusual talent he has demonstrated on numerous television and radio programmes worldwide, including Radio 4’s ‘Pick of the Week’. As Simon’s daughter, Eleanor, shares this talent they were both recently invited to be guests on ‘The Whistling Woman’ (BBC Radio 4). Simon’s whistling can be heard on several film soundtracks including ‘Shiner’, ‘Two Brothers’, ‘Shrek’, ‘Wallace and Gromit – Curse of the Were-Rabbit’ and ‘Surf’s Up’. Simon has arranged and written for numerous singers and vocal groups and was the musical director and arranger for a special Christmas episode of ‘The Bill’ (ITV).
Simon’s rich bass-baritone voice is much in demand, particularly in the field of Mediaeval and Baroque music. He has worked with the Gabrieli and New London Consorts and sang for many years as a member of The Scholars (quartet) and the Consort of Musicke, performing throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA. His many solo recordings include Monteverdi’s Vespers (with the New London Consort), Bach Magnificat (Andrew Parrott) and Charpentier’s Te Deum and missa ‘assumpta est maria’ (Ivor Bolton / St James’s Baroque Players). He has recorded John Blow’s Venus and Adonis, Matthew Locke’s Psyche (Envy and Bacchus) and Monteverdi’s Orfeo (Caronte) and recorded The Play of Daniel (Balthasar) with the Dufay Collective. He played Caronte in a production of Peri’s Orfeo at the Drottningholms Slottsteater in Stockholm and has performed Blow’s Venus and Adonis at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Concerts include Bach’s B minor mass in Italy and Germany, St John Passion (Jesus) in Israel, St Matthew Passion in Spain, Handel’s Acis & Galatea (Polypheme) in Budapest and Mozart’s Requiem in London with the London Mozart Players. He sang the role of Caronte to great critical acclaim in a staged production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. He has since sung the role in Beijing, USA, Warsaw, Rotterdam and Jerusalem as well as major festivals throughout the UK. Simon appeared in the New London Consort’s staged version of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen in London and Budapest. He toured Europe in Purcell’s King Arthur as well as performing The Tempest in Paris and Prague.
Simon Grant’s involvement in contemporary music has lead to appearances with the Matrix Ensemble, Electric Phoenix (founder member), Ensemble Modern, Tenebrae, Singcircle and Synergy Vocals. He has performed the music of Luciano Berio at venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Centre, New York, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Los Angeles) and La Scala, Milan. He has sung the part of the Father in Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins many times, most recently in 2016 with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Glasgow City Halls). He was the soloist in the world premiere of Where two worlds touch (by Helen Chadwick & Howard Moody) at the Salisbury Festival UK.