ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AT ST MAGNUS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
Alasdair Nicolson was born in Inverness in 1961 and brought up on the Isle of Skye and the Black Isle. His first musical experiences were in traditional music before going on to study at Edinburgh University. An award-winning composer, he is now regarded as one of Scotland’s most important musical voices and a significant figure on the UK music scene both as composer, performer and programmer. He has written music for many of the leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists in the UK and abroad and his music has been performed and broadcast all over the world from New York to Rome, Tokyo to Sydney. Premieres have been given by many of the world’s leading ensembles and soloists including the Nash Ensemble, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, English National Opera, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, BBC Singers, Trondheim Soloists and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
He has a strong commitment to work within education, with amateur performers, and particularly with young composers; and has made a television programme with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra about composition and written two books to encourage young composers. His Sound Inventors project was a RPS Award winner. Nicolson is currently Artistic Director of the St Magnus International Festival and formerly Bath International Music Festival and works with many organisations in the UK as mentor and programme advisor. Although he has a busy schedule writing music he has always maintained a career as a performing musician and works as conductor and pianist – in his early career he was on the music staff of the Opéra de Monte Carlo. Recently he shared his passion for the music of Brel, Brassens and Barbara in a two-hander cabaret piece with the acclaimed mezzo Jessica Walker.