Simon Bjarning

simon bjarningSimon was born in Roskilde, Denmark in 1979. After graduating from the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen in 2006, he performed with the major Danish symphony orchestras, Broadway shows at Det Ny Teater (The New Theater) and several rock and folk music bands. Along with steady gigging, he also taught drums and classical percussion full-time. In 2014 Simon and his wife Elizabeth decided to moved to USA, her home country.

After the move to the USA, Simon chose to take up lessons and coaching from the legendary Dom Famularo. Simon has also studied with Chris Adams, Stephane Chamberland, Claus Hessler and John Favicchia. About the life as a musician in the US, these are Simon's thoughts:

"I've been extremely lucky. Anyone who gets to make a living as a musician should consider himself/herself extremely lucky. I know I've been. Currently (September 2020), I'm teaching at Alfred University in Alfred, New York. I'm teaching 20+ students online due to Covid and I'm watching my fellow musicians deal with the reality of this "new" normal. Up until the Covid shutdown, I went from small town bars to big stages with names like Hanson, Evanescence, Lindsey Sterling and Il Divo (Told you I was lucky, didn't I?).

In between, I've worked with incredibly talented musicians from Ithaca in more Avantgarde settings from both Ithaca College and Cornell University. These days - alongside teaching - I'm writing music with my dear friend and musical partner in crime Peter Fritzen. We once had a duo called Dampfbahn and that duo is up and running again. So cool. My band in Rochester "ProgGnostic" is currently writing and recording music for a forthcoming release.

That's how I stay busy. I'm super grateful, I don't take anything for granted and I'm all about paying it forward. Hope you're doing well wherever you are."