His skill as a communicator and innovator has been recognised by both critics and audiences alike – he was the recipient of the 2012 Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent and in 2013, for the third consecutive year, he was one of the London Evening Standard’s Most Influential Londoners. As founder and Principal Conductor of Aurora Orchestra he has promoted imaginative programming that integrates challenging repertoire from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with masterworks of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras.
Having made a very successful debut at the BBC Proms in 2010, Nicholas has been re-invited each successive year with Aurora Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. With Aurora Nicholas leads the New Moves series, a unique cross-arts residency at LSO St Luke’s which has included critically acclaimed collaborations with dance, film, visual arts and theatre. Recent highlights include pairing Brazilian capoeira with French baroque music, tango with Bernstein, klezmer with Mahler, and breakdance with Shostakovich. Nicholas and Aurora have been part of the Mozart, Brahms and Bach Unwrapped seasons at Kings Place and also at Kings Place, a concert featuring the works of Nico Muhly launched the CD Seeing is Believing on Decca to critical acclaim. Other projects with Aurora include a collaboration with Ian Bostridge and Angelika Kirchschlager in performances of Satie’s Socrate and Britten’s Phaedra, critically acclaimed appearances at the Musikfest Bremen and in 2013 as part of the South Bank Centre’s Rest is Noise festival where programmes included music by Schoenberg, Antheil, Shostakovich and Britten.
In addition to his work with Aurora, he is in demand as a guest conductor with other ensembles in the UK and abroad. In recent seasons Nicholas has worked with the Philhamonia, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC and Royal Philharmonics, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre National de Lyon, Bamberg Symphony, Trondheim Symphony, Spanish National Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Academy of Ancient Music, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia and Ensemble Intercontemporain and collaborated with artists such as Ian Bostrodge, Angelika Kirchschlager, Vilde Frankg, Pekka Kuusisto, Francesco Piemontesi, Colin Currie, Steven Isserlis, François Leleux and Nico Muhly.
Future engagements include re-invitations to the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Spanish National Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony, London Sinfonietta, Ulster Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and debuts with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Zurich Tonhalle, the Hallé Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, The Residentie Orchestra, Gurzenich Orchester, Warsaw Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and SWR Sinfonieorchester.
Nicholas made his debuts last season with English National Opera The Magic Flute and Welsh National Opera, Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream and in 2013 he made his debut with Glyndebourne on Tour with Britten’s Rape of Lucretia.