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Biography

Nicholas is a Young Steinway Artist and the multi-award winner of numerous Australian and international music competitions, and regularly presents solo and chamber music recitals across Australia in a variety of instrumental collaborations. He has appeared as concerto soloist with the West Australian, Queensland, Adelaide and Willoughby Symphony Orchestras, and the Vienna International Orchestra. His recordings are distributed globally by ELKWOOD DXD/DSD, and his performances have been broadcast by Fine Music FM, ABC Classic FM, 2MBS and 3MBS.

Highlights of 2018 included the launch of the new Stuart & Sons 108-key piano at Beleura House in partnership with SONY and composer Alan Griffiths, and sold-out Spanish classical-flamenco recitals at the Canberra Wesley Music Centre and Sydney Opera House Utzon Room in collaboration with guitarist Matthew Fagan. In 2019 Nicholas performed the Beethoven ‘Emperor’ Concerto as soloist with the Hills Shire Symphony Orchestra in their inaugural concert season, the music of Chinese composer Bao Yuankai with the Australian New Goldberg Orchestra, and presented the opening, sold-out solo recital to launch new concert venue Tempo Rubato in Brunswick (Melbourne).

Currently based in Melbourne, Nicholas was born in Sydney and began piano studies there at the age of six with Alison Salkeld, gaining his Associate and Licentiate Diplomas (Australian Music Examinations Board) both with Distinction in 2004 and 2005 respectively. He subsequently studied with Daniel Herscovitch and was awarded his Fellowship Diploma in 2009 at the age of eighteen.

Nicholas pursued further artistic training through the Bachelor of Music (Performance) degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as a recipient of the University of Sydney Outstanding Achievement Scholarship. He graduated in 2013 with First Class Honours and University Medal for his research and performances of Busoni's original compositions for solo piano. Nicholas subsequently undertook Masters studies at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg with Claudius Tanski, graduating with Distinction (mit Auszeichnung) and the highest possible grades in all performance and academic components. In support of this period of study, he was awarded the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship (Instrumental Music Category) in 2014. The esteemed teachers from whom Nicholas has taken masterclasses include Dmitri Bashkirov, Christian Zacharias, Robert Levin, Dominique Merlet, Jacques Rouvier, Lars Vogt, Lang Lang and many others.

Since winning his first medal at the age of six, Nicholas has gained a steadily growing reputation through his appearances in various festivals and competitions. His first major prize as the winner of the 8th Yamaha Australian Youth Piano Competition in 2007 was followed by further important accolades including Winner of the 2011 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Award (Keyboard Category), Runner-Up Prize of the 2012 Australian Youth Classical Music Competition, Second Prize of the 2012 Australian National Piano Award and Winner of the 2016 Allison/Henderson Sydney Eisteddfod Piano Scholarship.

In 2015, Nicholas extended his successes to the international level, receiving that year First Prize and Best Beethoven Performance of the ‘Grand Prize Virtuoso’ International Music Competition (London), Third Prize of the 15th Rome International Piano Competition (Soloists 'B'), and Honourable Mentions at the 7th International Rosario Marciano Piano Competition (Vienna) and 1st International Cochran Piano Competition. He has since garnered further acclaim as a collaborative pianist, winning First Prize of the 2019 Queensland International Chamber Music Competition (Brisbane) as founding member of the double-reeded piano trio Ensemble Françaix.

Nicholas has given solo and chamber performances in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy, Austria and the UK in such iconic venues as the Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Centre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, London Wigmore Hall & Steinway Hall, Munich Gasteig and Vienna Ehrbar Hall. He has appeared as soloist with the West Australian, Queensland, Adelaide and Willoughby Symphony Orchestras, working with international conductors including Nicholas Braithwaite, Vladimir Verbitsky and Edvard Tchivzhel, and his performances have been broadcast by Fine Music FM and ABC Classic FM. In 2014, he was invited to perform with the Vienna International Orchestra as part of the Vienna ConcertoFest concert series. Since 2009, Nicholas has been officially recognised as a Young Steinway Artist.

While maintaining an intense study of the classical repertory, Nicholas has an equally strong interest in promoting the music of today. He has performed in national and/or world premieres of several new solo and ensemble works including Calogero Panvino’s Sonata 101 (2010), Huck Hodge’s Omen, unscroll a canon war! (Hommage à Nancarrow) (2010), David Fulmer’s Vor den Morgengrauen (2011), and Kevin Lang’s Amidst marbled silhouettes (2013), as well as performing the music of Roger Smalley, Elliott Carter, Alan Rawsthorne, Olivier Messiaen and the Second Viennese School. In support of his ongoing work in this field, Nicholas was announced as the winner of the Perpetual Trust's 2016 Michael Kieran Harvey Scholarship, enabling the commissioning, recording and performing of further new works for the piano to be released in 2017/2018.

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