Simon Rickard studied modern bassoon with Richard McIntyre at the Australian National University School of Music in Canberra. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Hons I) in 1993, winning the ANU University Medal for his outstanding undergraduate work and the Friends of the Canberra School of Music Prize for best graduating student. 

In 1993 Simon moved to the Netherlands where he undertook postgraduate study in historical bassoons with Donna Agrell at the Koninklijk Conservatorium (Royal Conservatorium) at the Hague. He graduated with the early music Certificaat followed by two years of the Vrije Studierichting course. During his studies Simon was lucky enough to take lessons not only from Donna Agrell but with luminaries such as Ku Ebbinge, Alfredo Bernardini, Barthold Kuijken, Jacques Ogg, Kate Clarke, Bruce Dickey, Charles Toet and Tini Mathot. He participated in student projects with Sigiswald Kuijken, Lucy van Dael, William Christie, Paul Dombrecht and Bruce Dickey. Parallel to his musical studies, Simon studied baroque dance with Carol Pharo and Frank Perenboom in the Netherlands and Barbara Segal in London.

Simon has performed, toured and recorded with international period instrument ensembles including the Gabrieli Consort and Players, Les Arts Florissants and Florilegium. In Australia he played principal bassoon with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra for 11 years (1992-2003). He has appeared as guest principal bassoon with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (Mozart’s Mitridate, 2001), Opera Australia and Victorian Opera for their forays into period instruments.

More recently Simon has enjoyed playing with many of the newer ensembles in Australia’s burgeoning early music scene. He plays and records with the Orchestra of the Antipodes, Melbourne-based renaissance groups Consort Eclectus and La Compañia, the Ironwood Ensemble, Latitude 37, Camerata Antica, the Australian Haydn Ensemble, and the Peninsula Summer Music Festival. Simon is very proud to have played principal bassoon for Pinchgut Opera since its inception.

Simon has spent many years painstakingly researching and reconstructing early bassoon reeds and has played on them exclusively since 1998.