Nicholas Wright

Student - PGDip., Royal College of Music (student)
London Uk, United Kingdom

About Nicholas

Edit profile

Bio

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.

Comments & conversations

Noface
Nicholas Wright
Posted 10 months ago
Should TED be used as a forum for current or past politicians? And does this talk go beyond a defence of Papandreou's premiership?
I can understand! I hate 'politics' -- but I'm in Greece now. Politics affects tax, insurance/medical contributions, whether buses run, if I can start a business or not (Greece makes this very very hard financially and bureaucratically). Unemployment is rife. All of these problems have come out of a politics of 'vote for me, I have a BIG credit card and I'll create jobs for you all!'. Easy to reject the whole field of politics ... but when there is a mess, someone has to clean it up or at least stop making it worse! When you're effectively paying 40%+ tax on all of your earnings, you become interested in politics.
Noface
Nicholas Wright
Posted 10 months ago
George Papandreou: Imagine a European democracy without borders
Further, George Papandreou has a knack for not quite saying what he is saying. Cerebral, abstract talk of pan-EU democracy is a backhanded federalist call. Some things should be federalised --- as he again touched on but didn't quite express --- immigration is a huge problem in Greece. It has insecure borders and is seen as an entry point to the EU. People get stuck here. So shouldn't the cost of this be shared? Shouldn't the whole EU help Greece to police its boarders and then, yes, hand out EU passports? Another federal idea - European wide bonds: this would be a smart way to allow Greece to access credit markets, but if you have any kind of Austrian economic leanings, Greece's access to credit at the same rate at Germany allowed the country to develop such a large, lumbering public sector. Is Germany really willing to guarantee these loans?-- their courts are not even sure if this is legal. Should the market decide Greece's borrowing costs? Should the market decide the cost of living and labour in Greece? Clearly yes, but the market isn't really operating nationally when interest rates are set by the Bundesbank. What I think George Papandreou was skirting through his whole talk is the fundemental question, 'out or in?' -- he says IN. With transfers of sovereignty to Europe, we need for Europe-wide democracy. Outside EMU, Greece could devalue, set its own interest rates and fix its economy --- Greek assets will be worth less, but the poorest wouldn't be taking the hit - people with assets would. This has worked many times. Within EMU, the only solution is surely for Europe to band together more --- yes, more political union. With painful restructuring Greece will recover in time - but forget cheap tourist destination. Papandreou also mentioned some of the power plays going on in Brussels and Berlin - perhaps Europe-wide democracy is the only way to cut the chains of national financial interest. Any thoughts?
Noface
Nicholas Wright
Posted 10 months ago
George Papandreou: Imagine a European democracy without borders
Writing from Athens... The first time I watched this video I was frankly angry. TED shouldn't be a forum for justifying your actions when you were in power -- the traditional way to skew history is to write a book. Stick to that! As V. Sotiras points out above, Papandreou continued to max out Greece's credit card right up until announcing a crisis. So, lets keep things honest. George Papandreou's leadership was well intentioned, but weak. He faced a huge mess, the worst of which was caused during his father's premiership (the grossly inflated public sector, essentially 'votes for jobs'), and didn't act decisively. But achieving the effect of devaluing Greece's currency (cheaper public sector costs (relative to $), cheaper labour, devaluing bonds held in that currency) becomes politically impossible with the EMU: Public sector cuts, unemployment leading to cheap labour costs as the market devalues Greek labour, and haircuts on Greek bonds. Living costs are going up here (supermarket shop is more costly than the UK) while new salaries start at E300 per month. This is a gross political failure which belongs to generations of Greek governments. For anyone wondering why ... read up on the history of modern Greece. Then compare to say, the UK. So, George - there is your defence. There are worse things than appearing unpopular.