Performer, editor, composer and teacher, Simon Rowland-Jones has always led a busy and multifaceted musical life. He was founder violist of the Chilingirian Quartet, in which he played for a total of ten years. He subsequently performed with many other leading chamber groups.
His solo CDs, on the Meridian and Etcetera labels, include recordings of Schumann, Schubert, Bloch, Benjamin Dale and the complete Bach Cello Suites, the 6th suite on a specially constructed 5-string viola. Peters Edition published his viola transcription of the suites shortly after the recording was made and he then went on to make a new critical/performing edition of the Haydn String Quartets.
Simon Rowland-Jones has always been a composer too, taking lessons with Nadia Boulanger at the Yehudi Menuhin School. His many works include works for viola, five string quartets, two string quintets, a string octet, a string trio, a piano quartet, songs, and ‘A Turn Outside’, a musical adaptation of a play by Stevie Smith composed for Dame Josephine Barstow. Paul Driver of The Sunday Times praised his third String Quartet with the following words: “I can hardly think of a contemporarycomposer who has reinvented tonality with the freshness of this. It was quartet writing in excelsis.”
He teaches viola and chamber music at the Royal College of Music and is co-director of the North Norfolk Music Festival.