Simon Niemiński was born in London and is descended from an unlikely mixture of Edwardian Japanese acrobats, Lancastrian Music Hall artistes and a Polish army veteran. He studied in London at the Royal College of Music, at Cambridge University and as Organ Scholar of York Minster. He is Organist of St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, and Director of Music at The Robin Chapel in Edinburgh, having previously been Organist and Master of the Music at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, where he directed the choir in daily choral services, concerts, recordings and broadcasts.
Over the airwaves he has featured in programmes including The Organist Entertains on BBC Radio 2, to Choral Evensong several times live on BBC Radio 3, and Pipedreams in the USA. As a recitalist, he has played at venues around the UK, Europe and the USA. His programmes include unusual but attractive repertoire and it is his aim to play programmes which appeal to organ aficionados and sceptics alike.
His recordings have helped to revive the music of unjustly neglected composers, including releases of the Promenades en Provence by Eugène Reuchsel and the symphonies of Edward Shippen Barnes – American pupil of Louis Vierne. Reviews have included: ‘This is a splendid release […] There is a lot of poetry here.’ (The American Record Guide) and ‘Simon Niemiński’s playing is utterly convincing and at one stroke establishes him as a recording artist of the first rank’ (Organists’ Review)
An interest in transcriptions has resulted in recordings of works inspired by Shakespeare, and another of Elgar, including the complete Enigma Variations (‘Romantic organ playing at its best’: The Organ). A recording by Simon on the 2007 organ of St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral was reviewed as a Star Recording in The Organ magazine (‘[…] a triumph for both organ and organist…’).
Other recent releases are of the new organ at First Baptist Church, Abilene, Texas, and the first recording of the restored 1913 Brindley & Foster organ in Freemasons’ Hall, Edinburgh. In October 2012 he made his first recordings for Resonus Classics, of Giles Swayne’s monumental Stations of the Cross for solo organ, and works by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (including some first recordings.)
'The performance sounds idiomatic'
‘Simon Niemiński’s playing is utterly convincing and at one stroke establishes him as a recording artist of the first rank’