Simon Nieminski plays the Shelton Organ (by Nichols & Simpson) at First Baptist Church, Abilene, Texas USA
Simon Nieminski was born in London and 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 has many years’ experience in the cathedral music tradition, currently as Organist of St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh. He was previously Organist and Master of the Music at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh, where he directed a choir of choristers drawn from the Cathedral’s choir school as well as Lay Clerks. He led this choir in daily choral services, and in a busy programme of concerts, recordings and broadcasts. He has also conducted the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union in concert at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.
His work as an organist takes him around the UK and abroad, both in concert and over the airwaves, with regular visits to the USA. As a recitalist, his programmes often include unusual but attractive repertoire, and it has become his aim to play programmes which appeal to organ buffs and sceptics alike. His recordings have helped to revive the music of unjustly neglected composers, with releases on the Pro Organo label (www.zarex.com) 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 Nieminski’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 session at St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh, was recently broadcast on BBC Radio 2’s The Organist Entertains programme. A CD on St. Mary’s new Matthew Copley organ, The Organ at the Met, has been released, and was reviewed as a Star Recording in The Organ magazine (“…a triumph for both organ and organist…”)
Choir and Organ Edinburgh-based Simon Nieminski's programme features some bizarre juxtapositions, such as a Buxtehude Toccata followed by a Carlo Curley favourite... - Chris Bragg
Journal of Association of Anglican Musicians ”Simon’s playing is exemplary in taste, technique and style.“ - Victor Hill
The American Record Guide Dupré’s Chorale and Fugue, Opus 57 began as an improvisation... Nieminski plays this with assurance, and his interpretation compares favorably with Filsell's. ... Reger’s immendesly challenging Opus 57 will tax the patience of most listeners. In predictable style, the textures are dense and murky. Reger confided to its dedicatee Gustav Beckmann that this was his most difficult composition. If you do like heavy German polyphony, you'll love this, done with aplomb by Nieminski. - Metz, Nov/Dec 2009