Carlos Simon, MM, DMA
Dr. Carlos Simon is a versatile composer and arranger who combines the influences of jazz, gospel, and neo-romanticism.
His latest album, My Ancestor’s Gift, was released on the Navona Records label in April 2018. As a part of the Sundance Institute, Simon was named as a Sundance Composer Fellow in 2018. His string quartet, Elegy, honoring the lives of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner, was recently performed at the Kennedy Center for the Mason Bates JFK Jukebox Series. With support from the US Embassy in Tokyo and US/Japan Foundation, Simon traveled with the Asia/America New Music Institute (AANMI) on a two-week tour of Japan in 2018 performing in temples and concert spaces in Japan including Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Other recent accolades include being a Composer Fellow at the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music, winning the Underwood Emerging Composer Commission from the American Composers Orchestra in 2016, the prestigious Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Award in 2015, and the Presser Award from the Theodore Presser Foundation in 2015.
Recent commissions have come from Morehouse College celebrating its 150th founding anniversary, the University of Michigan Symphony band celebrating the university’s 200th anniversary, Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire (American Music Festival) as well as serving as the young composer-in-residence with the Detroit Chamber String and Winds in 2016. Simon’s music has been performed by diverse prestigious artists and ensembles throughout the United States. His piece, Let America Be America Again (text by Langston Hughes), is scheduled to be featured in an upcoming PBS documentary chronicling the inaugural Gabriela Lena Frank Academy of Music. Acting as music director and keyboardist for Grammy-Award-winner Jennifer Holliday, Simon has also performed with the Boston Pops Symphony, Jackson Symphony, and St. Louis Symphony. He has toured internationally with soul Grammy-nominated-artist Angie Stone, and performed throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. He now serves as a member of the music faculty at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.
Simon earned his D.M.A. at the University of Michigan, where he studied with Michael Daugherty and Evan Chambers. He has also received degrees from Georgia State University and Morehouse College. Additionally, he studied in Baden, Austria at the Hollywood Music Workshop with Conrad Pope and at New York University’s Film Scoring Summer Workshop.
Simon is a member of many music organizations including ASCAP, where he was honored as one of the “Composers to Watch” in 2015. He is also an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Music Sinfonia Fraternity and a member of the National Association of Negro Musicians, Society of Composers International, and Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society. His compositions have been published by the Gregorian Institute of America (GIA) Publications and Hal Leonard Publications.