Simon Finlow, 60
Retired IT manager/database engineer
Washington, D.C.
United Kingdom/United States

Born in Lincoln, England, Simon Finlow began playing piano at age 4 and studied with Imogen Cooper in his late teenage years. He received a bachelor’s degree in music from Oxford University in 1977, and a doctorate in musicology from Cambridge University in 1985. Highlights for Dr. Finlow during this time included performances of the Brahms B-flat Major Concerto and Rhapsody in Blue with orchestra. “Hard reality,” he says, forced him along another path towards a career in IT engineering and management, following his move to the United States in 1985. Two key events in 2013 changed the direction of Dr. Finlow’s life: He quit his high-stress job that was taking a serious toll on his health, and he attended the Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. After learning about the Amateur Competition, he was inspired to find a new piano teacher, to rebuild his repertoire, and to perform again. When he is not playing, Dr. Finlow enjoys running marathons, delving into theories of cosmology and quantum physics, playing Gran Turismo on PlayStation, and helping his wife maintain a delicate peace between their 14-year-old twins.


Preliminary Round
BACH   “Sarabande” from Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826
DEBUSSY   L’Isle joyeuse

 Quarterfinal Round
CHOPIN   Fantaisie in F Minor, op. 49
PROKOFIEV   Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, op. 83: III. Precipitato

Semifinal Round
BEETHOVEN   Six Bagatelles, op. 126
BALAKIREV   Islamey (Oriental Fantasy)

Final Round
SAINT-SAËNS   Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, op. 22: I. Andante sostenuto