SIMON FINLOW

AGE 66  I  WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA  I  UNITED STATES / UNITED KINGDOM
IT PROJECT MANAGER/DATABASE ENGINEER (RETIRED)

What started with piano lessons at age 4 led Simon Finlow to study music at both Oxford (bachelor’s) and Cambridge (Ph.D.). He says “hard reality” led him to a career shift in the mid-80s. He emigrated from England to the United States, where he earned a master’s in computer science and information systems from American University and built a successful career in the field. In 2014, he quit his high-stress job and—having heard about the Cliburn Amateur while attending the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition the year prior—he rededicated himself to the piano. A former marathon runner, the physical and mental fortitude required for intensive training was not unfamiliar to him. Simon competed in the 2016 Cliburn Amateur and now performs regularly in the D.C. Metropolitan area. In his words: “I really feel as though I’ve been welcomed into an enormous, diverse, multi-national family of like-minded musicians.”