Bob Simans was born in Yorkshire. He won a competitive scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, where he obtained his LRAM diploma - his teachers were Robert Masters and Beatrix Marr (violin), and Norman Demuth (composition). He subsequently spent his National Service years with the Band of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, where he led one of the two orchestras.
Bob's first professional role was with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - where a very exceptional seven-year-old named Simon Rattle made his presence felt and was given his first violin lessons by Bob! He met his future wife, Kathleen, also a violinist, there, before making a permanent move to Scotland, joining Alexander Gibson's Scottish National Orchestra (which he went on to lead on several occasions).
Bob has worked with Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, Malcolm Sargent, David Willcocks, and many other distinguished orchestral and choral conductors, most notably a still young, but now fully-grown, Simon Rattle, who in the early 1980s was assistant conductor to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Shortly afterwards Bob founded the BBC Scottish Symphony Club to generate support and security for the Orchestra in the wake of a damaging dispute with the BBC, who wished to reduce the number of its orchestras.
More recently Bob has returned to an early love, the piano. He accompanies for the Choir of the Academy of Sacred Music and has composed and arranged for them. With Kathleen and friends, he performs for Music in Hospitals, bringing the joy of live music to those who cannot otherwise reach it. Bob is a member of the Salon Trio, which keeps alive the spirit of good light music all over Scotland. Bob works with violin teacher, Brenda Smith, whose prodigies include Nicola Benedetti, for whom Bob invariably provided piano accompaniment during her formative years. He also accompanies for the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland.