Simon MacDonald began playing the violin at age seven in Victoria, British Columbia. He earned his AVCM Teacher and Performance Diploma from the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Bachelor’s degree from New England Conservatory in Boston, and Master’s degree from McGill, in Montreal. Simon has performed in music festivals around Europe and North America, including Schleswig Holstein Music Festival in Germany, The Festival of Two Worlds in Italy, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston South Carolina, Tanglewood Music Festival and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, in Massachusetts, and at ArtSpring Music Festival on Saltspring Island.
After playing the 1999 season with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans, Simon moved to Winnipeg where he was active as a teacher, orchestral musician, chamber musician, and soloist; he was a member of the 1st violin section of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Principal Second violin of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, a member of the Rembrandt String Quartet, and a regular guest with the Brandon Chamber Players and the new music ensemble GroundSwell. In 2015 he was thrilled to be invited to assume the roll of Concertmaster of the Regina Symphony Orchestra.
Teaching is also a major part of his musical life; he maintains a private studio in Regina, and regularly coaches the Regina and Winnipeg Youth Orchestras. As well as being invited to be on faculty at Rosamunde Summer Music Academy, he has traveled as far as Perth, Australia, to teach at WAAPA, the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, and Cadenza Summer Strings, in Winkler, the University of Manitoba Preparatory Division Summer Chamber Camp, the Brandon Summer Suzuki Institute, Brandon University School of Music, and the International Music Camp at the Peace Gardens.