The English violinist and conductor, Simon Andrew Thomas Standage, received his first violin lessons at age 7. He studied music and violin at King's College, Cambridge University, graduating in 1963. He then spent four years in the Nederlands Kamerorkest under Szymon Goldberg (1963-1967). He won a Harkness Fellowship to study with Ivan Galamian in New York City from 1967 to 1969.
Simon Standage is best known for playing and conducting music of the baroque and classical eras on original instruments. He is considered as a specialist in historical violin techniques of the 17th and 18th centuries and has performed with many of the world's leading period instrument orchestras.
After a 1972 Wigmore Hall debut, Simon Standage became a founding member of harpsichordist and conductor Trevor Pinnock's period-instrument ensemble The English Concert. He was first (solo) violinist of The English Concert from 1972 to 1991 (19 years). In this time, he performed and recorded violin concertos by J.S. Bach (the single and double concertos, and the Brandenburg Concertos), Antonio Vivaldi (The complete Op. 3 l'estro armonico, Op. 4 la stravaganza and Op. 8 il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione, and Le quattro stagioni a celebrated second time), Haydn and others. His recording of A. Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with The English Concert received a Grammy nomination. He was also the first concertino violin in the concerti grossi of Arcangelo Corelli, George Frideric Handel and others. During this time, he was sub-leader of the English Chamber Orchestra from 1974 to 1978 and went on to lead the City of London Sinfonia (the successor of the Richard Hickox Orchestra) from 1980 to 1989.
In addition to these longtime associations, Simon Standage founded founded two ensembles devoted to historically aware string performance. The Salomon Quartet, which he founded in 1981 (with Micaela Comberti, violin II, Trevor Jones, viola, and Jennifer Ward Clarke, cello), specializes in applying period instruments and approaches to the 18th century quartet and quintet repertoire, performing and recording works by W.A. Mozart, Haydn, and lesser known composers. In 1990, he and Richard Hickox founded the group Collegium Musicum 90, a period-performance group varying in size from two musicians (for sonatas) to full orchestra and chorus (for oratorios). with which he has made many recordings as both conductor and violin soloist, of works by Georg Philipp Telemann, A. Vivaldi, Leclair, Benedetto Marcello, Albinoni, Arne, Boyce, and others. Under contract with Chandos Records, Collegium Musicum 90 produced more than 40 recordings in its first decade, from large-scale dramatic works to acclaimed trio sonata recordings.
Simon Standage played regularly with The Academy of Ancient Music throughout the 1980’s, often as first violin, and recorded A. Vivaldi's Op. 9 la cetra, and the complete violin concertos of W.A. Mozart (the first with authentic instruments and performance practice). He later became, Associate Director with Christopher Hogwood of the Academy of Ancient Music from 1991 to 1995. He has also made regular collaboration with Collegium Musicum Telemann in Osaka. Since 1991, he has been Leader of the Haydn Sinfonietta Wien, with whom he has recorded many highly praised CD’s. He plays in period-instrument chamber group The Music Collection with Susan Alexander-Max (fortepiano) and Jennifer Ward Clarke (cello).
Since 2005 Simon Standage has performed as a soloist with the ensemble of Le Chardon under the direction Hajo Wienroth. His recordings with Le Chardon include: 2007 CD Arias by J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel for counter-tenor and orchestra together with rediscovered concertos and doubleconcertos for flute, oboe and violin by Johann Joachim Quantz, Johann Friedrich Fasch, G.P. Telemann. Soloists: Maarten Engeltjes counter-tenor, Hajo Wienroth travers flute, Mark Baigent oboe and Simon Standage violin. With this CD production: live recording by NDR of a concert at the International Musikfest in Seelze broadcasted on July 6, 2007. 2008 CD with quartets by J.B. Viotti, together with Hajo Wienroth (keyed flute), Simon Standage (violin), Huw Daniel (viola) and Poppy Walshaw (cello). April 2009 CD Haydn Trios and Divertimenti, Hajo Wienroth original keyed flute arround 1810, Simon Standage violin, Poppy Walshaw cello.
Simon Standage has collaborated with other early music orchestras and ensembles, such as Collegium Musicum Luzern, Accademia Daniel, and Musica Aeterna Bratislava. His chamber music partner have included: harpsichordists Shalev Ad-El and Shin-ichiro Nakano, flautist Andreas Kröper, violinist Peter Zajíček, and many others.
Simon Standage has been Professor of Baroque violin at the Royal Academy of Music since 1983, and taught Baroque violin and conducting at the Akademie für Alte Musik in Baden-Württemberg (operating in Görlitz and Dresden) since 1993. He also teaches at summer courses in Europe and the USA. He is also president of the Early music society, Music by the Commons, based in Wimbledon, South West London. In 2010 he received the Georg Philipp Telemann award for his performance in music and teaching for the dissemination of works by G.P. Telemann.
Simon Standage plays a violin made by Giovanni Grancino, Milan, 1685.