Described as “one of the most important musicians of his generation" (ThreeWeeks), Simon Thacker is a composer, classical guitarist, improviser and ensemble leader whose ever expanding musical world draws on a deep immersion in diverse cultures.
Renowned as a classical guitar soloist, he will make his debut solo tour of India this year with his newly written programme Pashyanti. He has also developed some of today’s most prescient ensembles: Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti, a world leading Indo-Western collective which has seen him tour and collaborate at major festivals in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, including for an audience of 60 000 in Dhaka and at The Sacred Pushkar, one of the region’s biggest sacred music festivals; Simon Thacker's Ritmata, his musical laboratory with three of Europe’s leading improvisers; Karmana with Polish cellist Justyna Jablonska, a new vision for chamber music; and Songs of the Roma with Justyna and Roma Gypsy singer/violinist Masha Natanson, a new Romany musical journey. All of these groups have been selected for the prestigious Made in Scotland showcase. In the studio he has taken the backwards recording technique pioneered by Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles to new heights.
Simon's startlingly original music has propelled many traditions forward and created a new frontier for classical guitar. His pieces have been played on radio in over 50 countries. As an educator, he has been classical guitar tutor at Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh College for over a decade. He has performed as soloist with many orchestras, including the RSNO.
"The leader of the pack clearly is Simon Thacker. His playing affects an ethereal beauty that is unsurpassed by most musicians today... Not only is Mr. Thacker a sublime technician but his artistry seems to soar above that of most mere mortals. His ability to extract such meaning and expression from merely six nylon strings speaks of true genius." The World Music Report (Canada)
“Simon Thacker's musical life has been a journey through genres, histories, cultures and philosophies...remarkable, powerfully energetic” Elsewhere (New Zealand)
“A multifaceted exposition into a staggering range of musical styles and traditions. Thacker’s passion for discovery has led to him immersing himself in Roma gypsy culture, Indian classical music and his native Scotland’s folk scene, to name but a few. Thacker reimagines these ancient traditions to fit a future tense.” Channel7A
"I dare you to not be amazed at the deft virtuosity (not to mention compositional powers) of Simon Thacker." classical.net
"Guitarist Simon Thacker transcends the instrument and persuades it to produce music loaded with subtle nuances and character." Classical Music Sentinel (Canada)
"The guitar is often underrated as a solo instrument, but Thacker demonstrated with startling virtuosity just how versatile and exciting it can be in the right hands." The Scotsman
" Simon Thacker hasn't re-interpreted world music (more accurately traditional music forms from Scotland to India and many points of Roma gypsy travels between). He's completely reinvented it." FabricationsHQ
“Simon Thacker’s compositions and reworkings demonstrate his skill and sensitivity in the teeth of what amounts to a considerably complex and original journey with little precedent.” edinburghguide.com