Nicholas grew up in Kent taking up the trumpet at the age of nine. He first tried a natural trumpet aged thirteen and at fifteen, borrowed a suitable instrument from his modern trumpet teacher (Paul Beniston) which he later used for his A-level music recital.
He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (2004-8), with John Miller, Jamie Prophet and David Staff (natural trumpet). At the RNCM he performed concerti by Telemann and Vivaldi (Double with David Staff) and was awarded the Cecil Kidd Prize for Trumpet.
As an undergraduate, Nicholas took part in the 2006-7 ‘Experience’ Scheme with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and performed with the Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra. He has since played with the Göttinger Baroque Orchestra, tutored natural trumpet at the Hochschule in Würzburg, Germany, and appeared as guest-Principal with the Irish Baroque Orchestra, where his performance of Handel’s Messiah was broadcast by RTÉ Lyric FM. As a modern trumpet player he has performed with Manchester Camerata and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Dublin.
Nicholas is a current post-graduate scholar at the Royal College of Music, London, where he studies with Ian Balmain, Alistair Mackie, and Neil Brough (natural trumpet). In September 2009 he takes up the position of Junior Fellow of Performance HIstory within the RCM. His baroque trumpet and authentic mouthpiece are supported by the Macfarlane Walker Trust and Simon Fletcher Trust.
An idea worth spreading
People are largely divorced from music and from culture. This is as true with J.S. Bach as it is with some modern popular music that has genuine cultural roots - recording turns music into a passive listening experience, devoid of context and understanding. Bach's Christmas Oratorio is full of musical symbolism, some very complex, some still recognisable to us as topics or associations that mean something. I blame this lack of interpretive background on the way people are educated. Education can be factual, in music focussing on harmony, counterpoint, when and where things were written. But WHY is missing - in my education in the UK I never had to think about the message of art or music, to break down the subject historically and poetically - so, I can see why UK student and the UK public don't 'GET' music. There is much to learn and enjoy from connecting the past and present; understanding culture, economics, politics and religion can inform performance and make the arts come alive.
I'm passionate about
The history of music and the sounds that composers were writing for in a western classical tradition. I research trumpets from history in their original form and learn to play them.
Talk to me about
Soundworlds in music, symbolism and the was that an academic study can influence different aspects of the artsand education. Also, about practical research - investigating the past in a practical way.
People don't know I'm good at
I need to work at this ... studying the modern trumpet and making my research interests into its history known I've become a one-trick or two-trick-pony ... but I'm going to start a craft, for fun!
My TED story
I came across TED through YouTube. I had watched Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth on DVD, over and over again (I think I watched it three times in a row the first time I bought the DVD). I was impressed with him as a speaker and wanted to watch some more of his speaking, of his ideas. So, I started watching political speeches, debates and finally a TED talk update since the Inconvenient Truth film was made. Since then I have been hooked - and I'm gradually working my way through all of the videos available online. Thanks to TED for making this information free and available so easily.