Keynote presentations about music around the world

1. Sugar, Silver, and Silence: The thrilling colonial heritage of the churches of Latin America 

2. Coffee, Gold, and Candomblé: Brazilian music across the centuries

3. Messiaen in Japan: Transcending Musical Borders – Poetic postcards of shrines and temples from Olivier and Yvonne’s honeymoon tour

4. From Ouessant to Paris: Tournemire as Mystic Symbolist – How can a composer engage convincingly with theology, and how does this music speak of God?

5. Listening to the Soul of Africa: Journeys Across the Continent – From the Serengeti to the Congo, from Zimbabwe to Namibia, finally arriving in Senegal, Simon traces his experiences and reveals his informants…

6. Puccini on the World Stage: Masterpieces of Opera – Simon investigates what makes Puccini’s music so memorable.

7. Musical Glories of Russia: The Orthodox Choral Tradition – Simon explores over one thousand years of magnificent music, including some of his research on hidden gems by St. Petersburg composers.

8. Musical Glories of the Baltic: Hanseatic Cities and Bach – Simon investigates the sonorous sounds of this mighty northern trading league, and the influence the music of these composers had on J. S. Bach.

9. Shostakovich: A Life in Symphonies – Any visit to St. Petersburg would be incomplete without an understanding of its modern history as documented in the music of Shostakovich. Simon asks: was this composer dissident or repressed artist?

10. Tender is the North – A journey through musical developments, exploring glorious sounds as a mirror of cultural heritage.

11. Music of the Beyond: Beyond Music? Find out why the devil doesn’t necessarily have all the best tunes…

12. The Music of Spain and Catalonia – From the Golden Age to Flamenco: Fervent devotion and Iberian flair in music, painting, and architecture.

13. Portuguese Music – Let’s take a stroll around Lisbon with Fernando Pessoa!

Since 2000 Simon has been a lecturer and workshop leader for cruise lines around the world, delivering enrichment presentations, choral workshops, and destination lectures for passengers. With Saga he was a regular on the Baltic classical music itineraries, also travelling with Saga to the Caribbean, Iceland, Canary Islands and Mediterranean, as well as specialising in the music of Africa for Saga Pearl II’s farewell cruise, visiting Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, St. Helena, and Senegal. He has also lectured for Abercrombie & Kent, Voyages of Discovery (Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Chile, Peru & South Pacific, Indonesia & Thailand, Amazon, Greenland, White Sea), Fred Olsen, Cunard, and Viking.