Violist from Germany who started out on the piano at four years of age and gravitated to the violin when he was six years old. He and his family, who were originally from England, returned to their home country and he resumed his formal lessons there.
When he was sixteen years of age, he received a scholarship to attend the Purcell School of Music, and it was there that he became enamoured of the viola. From there, he matriculated to the Royal College of Music and worked toward his Bachelor’s and Postgraduate degrees. Before graduation, he was already in demand as a freelance musician.
He joined the Guillami String Quartet and they participated in the Royal Overseas League Competition in 2002.
Other groups with whom he has worked include the Adoch Piano Quartet, the Aoyama Trio, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, the Bowen Quartet, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Emanuel Ensemble, ensembleF2, the Jigsaw Players, the Linden Quartet, the London Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the New Professionals, the Philharmonia, the Prometheus Piano Trio, the Razumovsky Ensemble, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Sally Pryce Harp Ensemble.
In August 2003, he was one of several musicians featured at The Regent Hall Summer Festival, which celebrated the works of Ludwig van Beethoven, Alberto Ginastera, and Franz Liszt.
He helped premiere Nicklas Schmidt’s “Hymn to Chances Lost” at The Museum for the Danish painter Kirsten Kjaer in August 2004.
The Guillami String Quartet appeared at the Holywell Music Room in 2004 where they helped close out the Oxford Chamber Music Society series. In 2005, they interpreted the string quartets of Beethoven at the Purcell Room.
Nicholas continued his education at the New England Conservatory. On 21st January 2006, he performed Krzysztof Penderecki’s “Concerto per viola ed archi, percussione e celesta” at Jordan Hall with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. He graduated with a Master’s degree.
In October 2006, the Linden Quintet performed music of Beethoven, Johannes Brahms and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on a cruise of the Blue Danube.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra celebrated Halloween 2006 with a night of highlights from classical music’s ultimate dress-up entertainment: the opera. Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon sang music by Georges Bizet, Charles Gounod, Jules Massenet, Pietro Mascagni, Giacomo Puccini, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
The Prometheus Piano Trio appeared at the 2007 Chelsea Schubert Festival, where they offered up a musical palette of Beethoven, Brahms, and Franz Schubert.
On 3rd February 2007, the London Symphony Orchestra teamed up with violinist Leila Josefowicz for an all-John Adams affair that included “Dharma at Big Sur”, “Naïve and Sentimental Music”, and “Slonimsky’s Earbox”.
The Emanuel Ensemble gave audiences a Valentine of Jindrich Feld’s “Nocturne”, Mozart’s “Flute Quartet in D major” and Edwin Roxburgh’s “Quartet for flute and strings” at The Venue at Leeds College of Music on 14th February 2007.
On 2nd April 2007, Nicholas and several other musicians spent six hours at the Royal Academy of Music’s Concert Room, recording Nirmali Fenn’s album, Psychotic Episode and Restlessness.
The LSO was joined by pianist Barry Douglas on 3rd July 2007 for Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1”, followed by Henri Dutilleux’s “Metaboles”. After the intermission, Yan Pascal Tortelier conducted Maurice Ravel’s second suite from Daphnis et Chloe.
On 28th November 2007, Nicholas was one of five instrumentalists who lent their talents to a benefit concert for WaterAid. The musicians, in various combinations, performed Brahms’ “String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 111”, Antonin Dvorak’s “String trio in B flat major, Op. 75a”, and Mozart’s “Duo for violin and viola, K. 423”.
Pinchas Zukerman did double duty as a conductor and soloist on 18th January 2008 when the RPO sandwiched Max Bruch’s “Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26” between Sir Edward Elgar’s “Serenade for Strings, Op. 20” and Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36”.
In May 2008, Nicholas started up the Bedford Chamber Music Festival.
The Aoyama Trio presented an eclectic program on 13th May 2008 that comprised Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s “Deux Menuets et Une Polonaise”, the adagio from Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Violin Sonata No. 1”, Arnold Bax’s “Elegiac Trio”, Claude Debussy’s “Sonata” and “Syrinx”, Mikhail Glinka’s “Nocturne in E flat”, David Gough’s “Scylla & Charybdis”, and “Bordel 1900” and “Night Club” from Astor Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango.
In the summer of 2008, Nicholas attended the Festival du Larzac as the composer-in-residence.
The Jigsaw Players opened their season at Christ Church in West Wimbledon in September 2008 with Beethoven’s “String Serenade, Opus 8”, Brahms’ “String Sextet in B flat major, Op. 18” and Mozart’s “String Quintet in C major, K. 515”. On 20th December 2008, they returned to the church for Dvorak’s “Piano Quintet in G minor”, Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Piano Trio, XV25” (“Gypsy”) and Mozart’s “Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478”.
Nicholas participated in the Windrush Valley Chamber Music Festival at Burford Parish Church in May 2009. One of the highlights of the three-day event was Felix Mendelssohn’s “Octet in E flat major”.
On 30th November 2009, the Philharmonia teamed up with soloist Simon Trpceski for Tchaikovsky’s “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23”, bookended by Zoltan Kodaly’s “Danses de Galanta” and Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
A handful of string musicians from the Philharmonia interpreted Anton Bruckner’s “String Quintet in F major” at the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery on 7th January 2010.
On 30th January 2010, the Philharmonia performed Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto” with soloist James Ehnes at Butterworth Hall. The evening was opened and closed with Elgar’s “Cockaigne Overture” and Enigma Variations, respectively.
Joshua Bell was the featured soloist on 25th March 2010 when the Philharmonia pitched a double-header of Beethoven’s “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 61” and “Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55” (“Eroica”).
On 13th September 2010, they performed the “Lemminkainen Suite” of Jean Sibelius and The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky.
The same month found them in Italy for the Festival Internationale della Musica, where they performed The Miraculous Mandarin, Op. 19 by Bela Bartok, “Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14” by Hector Berlioz, and “Unanotte sul Monte Calvo” by Mussorgsky.
On 13th November 2010, the Adoch Piano Quartet appeared at Milton Keynes Church for Brahms’ “Piano Quartet in C minor”, Gustav Mahler’s “Piano Quartet in A minor”, and Schumann’s “Piano Quartet in E flat”.
Nicholas and clarinetist William Stafford and pianist Hiroaki Takenouchi were back in church for Brahms’ “Clarinet Sonata No. 3, Op. 12”, Max Bruch’s “Achte Stucke”, Rebecca Clarke’s “Viola Sonata” and Mozart’s “Kegelstatt Trio” on 29th November 2010. They reprised this program on 5th December 2010 at Stratford-upon-Avon.
On 1st December 2010, the Sally Pryce Harp Ensemble graced King’s Hall in Ilkley. Their program consisted of Debussy’s “Trio”, Jean Francaix’s “Quintet”, Manuel de Falla’s “Suite Populaire”, Ravel’s “Introduction and Allegro”, Albert Roussel’s “Serenade”, Hugh Watkin’s “Suite for Harp”, and Carl Maria von Weber’s “Introduction, Theme and Variations”.
The Jigsaw Players performed a charity concert for lymphoma and leukemia research on 8th January 2011 at Sacred Heart Church in Edge Hill, Wimbledon. Nicholas was both the conductor and organizer of the events, which featured Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 2” and Benjamin Britten’s “Lachrymae”.
They were at Christ Church in February 2011 for “Music & Art”, a multi-media presentation of Sarah Malcolm’s art and Brahms’ “String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 51” and Richard Strauss’s “Metamorphosen”.
On 16th June 2011, the Guillami String Quartet appeared at St. Margaret’s Church in Buxted Park, when they played works by Beethoven, Elgar, and Haydn.
Nicholas participated at the Windrush Chamber Music Festival at the Church of St. John Baptist in Burford on 18th June 2011. The recital included Brahms’ “Piano Quartet No. 2 in A, Op. 26” and Dvorak’s “Bagatelles, Op. 47”.
On 7th July 2011, the Aoyama Trio appeared at The Forge in Camden, London, where they interpreted Bax’s “Elegiac Trio”, the European premiere of David Bruce’s “The Eye of Night”, and Debussy’s “Sonata et trio”.
Recordings on which Nicholas appears included The New Professionals’ Goblin Market, with music by Aaron Jay Kernis, and Guillami Quartet: Walton-Mozart-Shostakovich.
Here is his introduction to the viola…
Nicholas appears mainly in the second half of this feature on the recording of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows video game soundtrack.