(written from a Production point of view)
Hailing from Chicago, Simonec began the organ and the piano when he was eight years old. He was a church organist from the age of 13 and became interested in arranging music for orchestras while attending college. After graduating, he wrote the theme music for a local church television program. He decided to become a film composer, and began composing music for religious films. In 1979, he made the move to Los Angeles where he began working for Paramount Television as a composer on such classic series as Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, and Family Ties.
In 1983, Simonec began experiencing stiffness in his neck and weakness in his arms and fingers. The following year, it was discovered that a tumor on Simonec's cervical spinal cord was the cause of the problems. Removing the tumor resulted in Simonec's arms and legs becoming paralyzed and the musician was informed he would never walk again. After just two years, however, Simonec was walking again and had regained partial use of his hands. One of the people who supported Simonec during his rehabilitation was Janet, whom he first met while recovering in the hospital and who later became his wife. Although he still struggles with his disability, Simonec has continued scoring and orchestrating for film.
Since 1991, Simonec has worked with award-winning composer Graeme Revell on over 45 films. Their collaborations include The Hand That Rocks the Credle (featuring John de Lancie and Matt McCoy), The Crush (featuring Kurtwood Smith and Gwynyth Walsh), The Crow (featuring Tony Todd), Street Fighter, Tank Girl (starring Lori Petty, Malcolm McDowell, Reg E. Cathey, Ann Cusack, Jeff Kober, and Iggy Pop), The Tie That Binds (starring Keith Carradine), Strange Days, From Dusk Till Dawn (featuring Fred Williamson), The Saint, The Negotiator, Bride of Chucky (featuring the voice of Brad Dourif), Bats (starring Bob Gunton and Dina Meyer and written by John Logan), The Insider (starring Christopher Plummer and Bruce McGill), Pitch Black, High Crimes (starring Ashley Judd and featuring John Billingsley, Jude Ciccolella, and Bruce Davison), Daredevil (featuring Erick Avari and Leland Orser), Out of Time (starring John Billingsley), and The Chronicles of Riddick (featuring Roger Cross).
Simonec and Revell have also worked together as co-composers on films like Suicide Kings, the mini-series Dune (starring Alec Newman), and the Emmy Award-winning mini-series, Anne Frank: The Whole Story (starring Ben Kingsley). As a lone composer, Simonec's credits include the 2000 independent drama A Rumor of Angels(starring Vanessa Redgrave and Ray Liotta) and the 2005 sports film Fighting Tommy Riley.
Prior to Star Trek, Simonec conducted and orchestrated Michael Giacchino's scores for the films Redemption of the Ghost (starring John Savage), Sin (featuring Daniel Dae Kim and Gregg Henry), The Incredibles, Sky High, The Family Stone, Mission: Impossible III (which, like Star Trek, was directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman), and Ratatouille. Simonec and Giacchino also collaborated on J.J. Abrams' series Alias, the TV pilot Semper Fi, and the video games Warpath: Jurassic Park, Medal of Honor, Medal of Honor: Underground, Mercenaries, and Medal of Honor: Airborne.
Simonec's other conducting and orchestration credits include the films Universal Soldier, Army of Darkness, The Associate (starring Whoopi Goldberg and Bebe Neuwirth), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and From Justin to Kelly (directed by Robert Iscove). Simonec has also worked on television shows such as Knot's Landing, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, the Jonathan Frakes-hosted Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, and FOX's popular animated series, Futurama.