"Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart."


Oliver Simpson


Oliver Simpson is a sixteen-year-old cellist studying with Gillian Thoday at Junior Guildhall.  He is delighted to have been selected as an LPO Junior Artist  2021/22 and is looking forward to a wonderful year ahead with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ollie recently performed Saint-Saëns' dramatic 1st Cello Concerto with the Abingdon & District Symphony Orchestra, the fantastic cello showpiece Dvořák Rondo with St. John's Chamber Orchestra, Haydn's Cello Concerto in C as soloist with the Berkshire Camerata to a capacity audience at the Windsor Festival and as guest co-principal with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall.

Oliver has been the winner of several competitions, most recently the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra’s Senior Concerto Competition 2022, where he performed Elgar’s moving Cello Concerto with the Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra in a wonderful final at St John the Evangelist Church in Oxford. Ollie is very much looking forward to performing a concerto with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra in their 2022/23 season.

Oliver is also very excited to have won the title of Gregynog Young Musician of the Year 2021. The competition took place at the beautiful Gregynog Hall in Wales with Ollie being selected as Gregynog Young String Player of the Year after the day of semi-final performances and winning the overall title after competing in the evening's final.

Oliver’s other notable music awards are first prize winner of the 2021 International Music Competition "London" Grand Prize Virtuoso, Berkshire Young Musician of the Year 2021, winner of the Abingdon Music Festival Concerto Competition 2021, winner of the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra’s Junior Concerto Competition 2021, Reading Symphony Orchestra Young Musician of the Year 2019, the Rohan de Saram Cup from the Oxford Music Festival 2019, and from the Woodley Festival the Maxwell Trophy 2019, the John Callan Trophy 2019 & 2018, and the Durant Cup 2018. 

He has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships including a Leverhulme Scholarship. Ollie also won the South of England Regional Final of the Rotary Young Musician of the Year 2019 competition and competed in the National Final where he was awarded the Runner-Up prize.

He has participated in masterclasses with Callum Smart, Guy Johnston, Rebecca Gilliver, Richard May, Philip Higham, Robert Max and Jess Gillam.


Ollie made his concerto debut as soloist with orchestra aged 14 performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, with subsequent performances with orchestra of Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto and Frescobaldi/Cassadó’s Toccata in the same year. He has upcoming solo performances with orchestra of the Elgar Cello Concerto, Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1, Schumann Cello Concerto, Haydn Cello Concerto in C and Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations, and solo recitals at the Elgar Room, Royal Albert Hall, The Tabernacle, Wales and as guest principal with the LPO at the Royal Festival Hall.


Selected recent performances include playing as soloist and principal cellist of the Nicola Benedetti Orchestra in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank, a solo recital for Maidenhead Music Society at Norden Centre for the Arts, performing in the string quartet accompanying Jess Gillam playing Marcello’s Oboe Concerto and Milhaud’s Braziliera at AYM's 20th Anniversary Concert at Wilton’s Music Hall, the Mendelssohn Octet & Brahms Saint Anthony Variations arranged for string quartet at Guy Johnston’s Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival, a performance of Haydn’s Cello Concerto at the Stone House London, performing as guest soloist with the Highclere Quartet playing Boccherini Quintets G310 (Op.28 no.4), ‘Rondeau’ & G324 (Op.30 no.6), 'Notturna delle Strade di Madrid', the Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, (solo cellist as part of the Quartet) in the Oxford Concerto Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary Concert, performing Handel’s Sonata for 2 Cellos at Handel House London, playing Mozart's Flute Quartet in C at Burgh House Hampstead and competing in the final of the prestigious Lutine Prize 2021 at Junior Guildhall.

Ollie also has a great love of singing, currently singing tenor in the Rodolfus Choir. He was a chorister for the Queen at Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace for five years and played the role of Second Boy in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Magic Flute) at the Royal Opera House, 2017/2018 season. 

Ollie is deeply passionate about communicating through his cello his love and enjoyment of the music in every performance.

Oliver is honoured to be generously supported by the Junior Guildhall, the National Grant Music & Dance Scheme, Awards for Young MusiciansThe Wrightson Trust, the Drake Calleja Trust and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.


Ollie would love to hear from you.  If you would like to book him for a performance, ask a question or just chat, please use the form below.


Copyright © 2022 Oliver Simpson