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Simon Bottomley began playing the piano when he was 10. His first teacher was Nicola Gebolys, a well known local pianist. Two years later he became a pupil of David Hartigan subsequently winning first prizes at Music Festivals throughout the North of England. He continued his studies with distinguished Polish pianist Ryszard Bakst (Pupil of Neuhaus and Drzewiecki) at the RNCM and after graduating continued to study with Professor Bakst for a further six years. He considers this time to have had the most profound effect on his teaching.
Simon has given recitals as a soloist and accompanist, and has broadcast live on local radio, but now devotes his professional career to teaching. He has been a member of the full time piano staff at Chetham’s School of Music for over 20 years, as well as teaching privately. His aim has always been to help young pianists develop their talents to the full and achieve both technical and musical levels they previously thought impossible, experiencing the great joys of music.
His pupils have won major awards both at home and internationally, including finalist in the Piano section of the BBC young Musician of the Year Competition, prize winner in the piano final of the Royal Overseas League Competition, fourth prize in the Ludmilla Knevkova Hussey International Piano Competition in Canada and semi-finalist at the Horowitz International Piano Competition in Kiev. They have also performed, and won prizes in competitions in Denmark, Austria, Germany, Belgium and the United States. His pupils have been the overall winner of the EPTA UK piano competition on several occasions.
Simon’s pupils have performed in the following London venues: The Royal Festival Hall, St Martin -in-the -Fields, the Warehouse, and St James Piccadilly, as well as international venues including Carnegie Hall. They regularly perform concertos; two pupils recently performed Rachmaninov’s 2nd concerto and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, three pupils performed the Grieg, and another pupil performed Tchaikovsky’s 1st concerto.
Apart from his success with obviously gifted children, Simon has dedicated part of his time to helping talented children with specific difficulties.