Simon grew up in Harrogate and enjoyed an active musical life as a child, starting the bassoon at the early age of 7

Music was a strong part of family life and his father, Gordon, studied at the Royal Academy as a conductor and flautist. Having been taught by Stephen Reay (Northern Sinfonia) and Sebastian New (Opera North) Simon then gained a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music and studied with John Orford, Gareth Newman and, on contra, David Chatterton. He went on to begin his freelance career as bassoonist and contrabassoonist performing with many of the major orchestras and opera companies in the UK, including Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English National Opera, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Halle and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

In 2002 Simon was appointed Principal Contrabassoon of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he has held for the past 13 years as well as playing principal and second bassoon with the orchestra. Alongside his role with the LPO, Simon continues to enjoy working with other orchestras and has performed with many leading conductors, such as Bernard Haitink, Kurt Masur, Vladimir Jurowski, Sir Mark Elder and Sir Colin Davis, in some of the very best venues all around the world including Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall and Berlin Philharmonie. Simon has performed a wide and varied repertoire of symphonic, contemporary, and chamber orchestra music as well as regularly playing Principal and Contra with the LPO at Glyndebourne Opera. Film and television films credits include the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Hugo and Iron Man 3 and the BBC's Father Brown. Simon recorded over 200 National Anthems for the 2012 London Olympic Games with the LPO. Simon enjoys working on the many varied projects of the LPO's Education and Community Programme.