Simon Brew, Music Director Emeritus
Wellington Symphonic Bands
Simon holds a BMus with Honours degree (1st class) from Massey University and a Masters of Music from the Artez Conservatorium in the Netherlands. He has been a contract player for, among other ensembles, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands National Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia and Netherlands Blazers Ensemble. Simon has toured New Zealand and internationally with chamber ensembles Saxcess, Tango Virtuosi, Four Baritones, and Trio Elan.
He was previously Director of Music for the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band. Simon was the principal saxophonist and a featured artist with the band between 2005 and 2006.
Awards include the 2010 winner (by jury) of the prestigious Grachtenfestival Conservatorium Competition in Amsterdam as well as winning by public vote the Artez Kunstnacht Competition for best graduating student for 2010 (both with the Runeas Duo). He also won best saxophonist under 30 at the International Festival of Single Reeds in Melbourne (2005), 3rd place in the New Zealand National Concerto Competition (2003),and best New Zealand wind player (and semi finalist) at the Gisborne International Music Competitions (2003).
Simon has performed with various ensembles in numerous festivals and countries including the Asia Pacific Music Festival (NZ), BBC Proms (Royal Albert Hall) (UK), Taranaki Arts Festival (NZ), Brandenburgischen Sommerkonzerte (Berlin), Middleburg Kamermuziek Festival (Netherlands), Grachtenfestival (Amsterdam), Grenswerk Festival (Netherlands), International Youth Music Festival (Vienna), the 2006 North American Saxophone Conference (USA) and the 2012 World Saxophone Congress (Scotland).
Simon took conducting lessons while studying in the Netherlands with, among others, Hennie Ramaekers and Fred Dobbelstein. In 2004 Simon was an assistant/intern to the music staff of the NBR New Zealand Opera. Simon was the conductor and Artistic Leader of Saxperience Ensemble in Germany and the AKU/Artez Saxophone Orchestra. Between his studies in New Zealand and the Netherlands Simon taught saxophone at numerous schools, conducted youth and school bands and took workshops for a variety of organisations. He now works as the Education Director at the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and conducts a number of local ensembles.