Simon Callaghan performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician, in parallel with a highly successful career as a recording artist. A favourite performer at the internationally-renowned Husum Festival of Piano Rarities in Germany, Callaghan’s recent sell-out concert was praised by VAN Magazine as a “cleverly curated recital full of discoveries” and by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as “technically brilliant”. Callaghan has developed a wide following and appears on a regular basis in the UK’s major concert halls, and on tours to Asia, North America and Europe. Recital partners have included Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Nicholas Daniel, Adrian Brendel, Feng Ning, Samuel West, Prunella Scales and Timothy West. BBC Young Musician of the Year Finalist Coco Tomita and Callaghan have a successful duo partnership which saw their first record released in 2022 on Orchid Classics. He is also a founding member of the Piatti Ensemble, joining colleagues from the renowned Piatti Quartet to showcase the repertoire for piano quartet with a particular focus on revivifying works that have fallen into obscurity.
Simon Callaghan’s distinguished and eclectic discography includes recordings for Hyperion, Nimbus and Lyrita among others. He has a strong profile on BBC Radio3 and on a variety of streaming platforms, his most recent single on Apple Music with Coco Tomita surpassing 1 million streams in the first month of its release. He is a strong social media enthusiast, using it as a form of promotion for classical music in general but seeing it as a particular tool in his advocacy of the rare and unexplored.
Callaghan’s broad repertoire encompasses the standard works of the 19th and 20th centuries and increasingly concentrates on much that is rare and unexplored, examples including Bernhard Scholz, Josef Rheinberger and Carl Reinecke. A cornerstone of his work is his commitment to British music, and he has recently begun a series on Lyrita, recording world premieres of British concertos with Martyn Brabbins and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Callaghan has also made first recordings of the complete piano music by Rebecca Clarke, George Dyson and William Busch. By the end of 2023, he will also have recorded four albums for Hyperion’s celebrated The Romantic Piano Concerto series. His first disc for Hyperion, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, formed part of his PhD at the Royal Northern College of Music and was praised by BBC Radio 3’s Andrew McGregor: “I have nothing but praise for the performances... impressive pianism”.
Callaghan launched a comprehensive Poulenc project for Nimbus Records in 2019 and recorded L’histoire du Babar with actor Miriam Margolyes. The album received five stars from The Independent, reviewer Michael Church: “here, thanks to Harry Potter actor Miriam Margolyes’s artistry and Simon Callaghan’s excellent pianism, is Poulenc’s delightful musical response. And as I listened to this recording, I found the original drawings reappearing in my mind with all their detail intact – extraordinary. It lasts just 30 minutes, but my god does it resonate.”
Simon Callaghan’s reputation and experience in chamber music led to his appointment as Director of Music at London’s celebrated Conway Hall, only the sixth incumbent since the founding of the series in 1887. Callaghan is collaborating with Roger Vignoles, one of the most distinguished piano accompanists of our time, on a new song recital element for the series in 2023/24. He was elected a Steinway Artist in 2012.
[updated on 22 January 2023]