Simon Ible


In September 2017 Simon Ible was awarded an Honoray Fellowsip of the the University of Plymouth.


Simon Ible is the former artistic director and the co-founder of the internationally renowned Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival, which has established the University of Plymouth as a leading centre for research and performance in the field.


Born and educated in Bristol, Simon studied music at Newton Park College (now Bath Spa University) and went on to study conducting in Hannover, Germany, with Klaus Donath, and in London with Sir Colin Davis.


Throughout the 1980s and 90s, Simon worked in and around the City of Bath, principally as the Artistic Director and Resident Conductor of Bath City Orchestra, where he was responsible for directing a year-round programme of concerts in its Georgian civic venues, the Pump Room, Guildhall and Assembly Rooms. He was also the Assistant Conductor of the international Bath City Opera, and was Musical Director of the Chandos Singers, Trowbridge Philharmonic Choral Society, and the Bradford on Avon Choral Society.


Simon and his wife Karen moved to Devon in 1997 when he was encouraged to spearhead the launch of a new regional chamber orchestra – the Ten Tors Orchestra – which he did, while also conducting a number of ensembles and choirs in the South West including The Two Moors Festival Choir, Two Moors Festival Opera, East Cornwall Bach Choir and Wells Festival Orchestra. He was also for six years the Artistic Director of the Tavistock Music and Arts Festival.


In 1999 Simon was appointed Director of Music at the University of Plymouth – a role that involved conducting the university orchestra, choral society and chamber choir and organising special music events for the university and contributing to City of Plymouth and regional celebrations and festivals.


In 2005, he was a founding director of Peninsula Arts, the University’s public arts programme. In the same year, he co-founded with Professor Eduardo Miranda the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival, an annual event that brings together the cutting edge work of the University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research with a classical orchestral tradition. 


The contemporary music festival provided a showcase for composers at the University, including Eduardo Reck Miranda, Alexis Kirke, Duncan Williams, David Bessell, David Strang, Mike McInerney, and John Matthias.  Over 12 years it grew in stature and profile and garnered international media coverage attracting a diverse array of leading artists, including Dame Evelyn Glennie. 


Simon has conducted premieres of music by Roger Bolton, Ben Bartlett, Karen Wimhurst, Stevie Wishart, James Barrett, Paul K Joyce, Clive Jenkins, Andrew Wilson and Linas Baltas. His recordings of new music include 'Sound to Sea' choral symphony by Eduardo Reck Miranda and 'Dartmoor Symphony' by Nigel Shaw.


Simon has always been a passionate supporter of youth and community music activities including as Musical Director of the Peninsula Doctors’ Orchestra and supporting in particular the Rotary Young Musician of the Year.  He has also through music events realised money for charities including Brain Tumour Research - a partner organisation of the University of Plymouth, St Luke's Hospice, Shekeinah Mission and Bumblebees (research into childhood diabetes)


In July 2017, Simon retired from the University of Plymouth and many of his other music-related activities.