Keys to Life: Simon Markson

Publish Date: 6 March 2024

Episode One

Each month we will be interviewing a key figure who spends their life in the world of music, film or theatre, from those behind the scenes, to those in the lime light, to find out what some of their keys to life are.

For this Christmas special, we interviewed Simon Markson,
owner and managing director of Markson Pianos,
who joined the now fourth-generation family business in 1975.


Simon good day to you;

What do you strive for in life? 

A balance between work, rest and play.
Impossible to achieve but worthwhile trying.


Put into one sentence why having access to a piano
is so important to family life, culture and education? 

Quite simply a home is not a home without a piano.  A wonderful creative tool for improvisation and composition and access to a vast repertoire. Music is a journey and a piano a great companion.


Where do you see Markson Pianos 10 years from now?

Ah for a crystal ball. We’ve endlessly talked about diversifying, but in the end pianos are what we know best. And to make anything work well requires a lot of devotion.


Is there anything that you do that helps you to get rid of stress?

I have practiced Transcendental meditation and Qi Gong for many years and enjoy playing singing bowls and piano.


What book/s are you currently reading and tell me one thing that you enjoy about it/them?

I’m dipping in and out of ‘A Book Of Noises’ Notes on the Auraculous from
Caspar Henderson. Endlessly fascinating exploration
of the world of noise (and sound).


When you get home and you want to unwind, what kind music do you usually put on and why?

I have very eclectic taste. I might listen to Jazz or Classical or Soul. So much to choose from. Alice Caltrain’s ‘A Love Supreme‘ is one I go for.


If you are going to dance, what is the number one kind of music you can’t not dance too? (Even a straight jacket wouldn’t hold you back!)

Possibly Reggae or Latin rhythms.


What is one of your favorite places to eat,
drink and unwind with friends in London ?  

It’s got to be The Duke of Cambridge PH in Islington.
Great food although can be noisy.


What song or piece of music always lifts you up?

Vaughan Williams ‘The Lark Ascending