- Victor Simonson
Victor Rudolph Simonson is an
African American pianist, conductor, baritone, organist, accompanist, and music director. He studied piano with Dr. Stanley Lee Ralph Sr. at the Memorial Presbyterian Church, Roosevelt, Long Islandand served as Assistant Minister of Music when he was 14 years old. Simonson attended Howard Universityand the Eastman School of Musicwhere he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree. Simonson and his sister, Pamela, occasionally perform concerts together and are known as the "Only African American Brother Sister Classical Vocal Duet in the USA".Fact|date=January 2008 Simonson has won the "William Warfield Award" and was nominated for the 2007 Helen Hayes Award for Best Music Direction in a Musical Production.
Simonson's credits include "The Color Purple", "Three Mo' Divas", "Three Mo’ Tenors", "Boys Choir of Harlem", "The McLurkin Project", "Brooklyn: The Musical", "A House is Not a Home", "A Good Man-The Musical", and "Common Realities". He is hailed as the "Youngest musical director in a Broadway bound musical."
Simonson served as guest conductor for the 2005 NAACP Awards, Cobb Symphony Orchestra, Mark Twain Award's Whoopi Goldberg Tribute and Queens Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir, composed "Another Chance" , on the Grammy Nominated CD by Frank Haye's Total Praise, served as Orchestrator with the production team for Donnie McLurkin’s CD, "The McLurkin Project", and nominated for the 2007 "Helen Hayes Award" for Best Music Direction in a Musical Production.
His television work includes ABC Nightline, Rosie O’Donnell and Good Morning America and the WORD Network. Simonson also performed at the memorial service for Rosa Parks, the funeral service for Honorable Thurgood Marshall, at the funeral service for Linda McCartney, at President Bill Clinton’s Inaugural concert with Howard University Choir and performed for New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s Opening Reception.
Simonson collaborated and performed with classical singers including Denyce Graves, Roderick Dixon, N'Kenge Simpson, and others. Simonson conducted the Cobb Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta, GA, performed for Cincinnati’s Opera’s production of "Opera Goes to Church", performed with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Queens Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir, the Morgan University Choir under the direction of Dr. Nathan Carter; and accompanied gospel singer, Shirley Caesar for the Ben Vereen Gala. The Boys Choir of Harlem credits Simonson with the composition "I Will Give You All the Praise", on the CD, "God’s By Design".
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