Elegance of touch is in evidence when one listens to Simon Schembri. His interpretation evokes rare sensibility and deep expression.
The guitar was a very popular instrument when Simon Schembri started playing at the age of six in Malta, his native island. At the age of nine, he was already giving concerts. He was then awarded the Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music of London (L.R.S.M.) when he was 14. The year after, he was chosen as a student of Master Alexandre Lagoya at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris where he was awarded First Prize. He is a laureate of international competitions (Montelimar, Guitar Foundation of America and Young Concerts Artists of America) and member of the Yehudi Menuhin and George Cziffra Music Foundations. The Malta Classical Music Award paid tribute to his career and legacy to the Maltese music scene.
Simon Schembri practises the guitar technique founded by Tarrega in the 19th century, which inspired the famous Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya. Critics have recognized the strong but nevertheless noble and mellow sonority, as well as the richness of his musical expression. Alexandre Lagoya mentioned his “virtuosity at the service of a high spiritual sensitivity” and Simon Schembri enjoyed the rare privilege of sharing severals guitar duets with the Master.
Simon Schembri has been invited by musical medias: Eve Ruggieri (Musiques au coeur – France 2), Anne-Charlotte Rémond (France Musiques) José Arthur and the conductor Frédéric Lodéon (France Inter), who was “struck by the clarity of his playing and the quality of his musical expression which brings life to music”.
Acclaimed virtuoso, Simon Schembri gives numerous recitals in France, his adopted country, and abroad (Paris, Lyon, Verona, Warsaw, Istanbul, Tunisia, Venezuela, Washington, etc.). He also dedicates a large part of his activity to chamber music playing quintets with Quatuor Debussy, Quatuor Ludwig, Quatuor Parisii, duets with great artists: Alexandre Lagoya, Marielle Nordmann, Yuri Bashmet, and orchestral works in renowned halls: Théâtre du Châtelet with the Solistes de l’Orchestre de Paris, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Salle Pleyel, Cathédrale des Invalides with Orchestre de la Garde Républicaine, Palais des Congrès Paris with Orchestre Lamoureux, The Kennedy Center Washington, Purcell Room London, Liceo Madrid, Royal Castle Warsaw, and in major international festivals: Aix-les-Bains, Chartres, Biarritz, Mediterranean Festival, Flâneries Musicales de Reims, etc.
Simon Schembri has a keen interest in the evolution of the guitar. He premiered several works by Jacques Chailley, Erik Marchelie, Gordon Mizzi and Karl Fiorini and has been closely working with Spanish guitar maker Ignacio Rozas and Savarez Strings. He is a Professor and regularly gives masterclasses in summer music academies: Académie Internationale de Musique de la Lozère, Académie internationale de musique des Pays de Loire, and Musicalta (Alsace).