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Natalie Nicolas : Associate Artist

I think the ability that music has to make people feel, is the greatest power I can try and have a hand in, in my short time on this earth.

Random Audio Sample: We won't let you down : string orchestra by Natalie Nicolas, from the CD Women of Note

Photo of Natalie Nicolas

Sydney composer, PhD candidate, and educator Natalie Nicolas completed her Master of Music (Composition) degree under scholarship at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Nicolas' music is emotionally driven, and she often strives to evoke calm and/or catharsis through her writing, in line with her doctoral studies.

Nicolas is a tutor and lecturer at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Composer in Residence at Loreto Normanhurst, a professional singer, and owns/runs a piano tuition school. She has written for artists such as the Australian String Quartet, Claire Edwardes, the Goldner String Quartet, the Muses Trio, The Song Company, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and others.

In 2013, Nicolas wrote for the ASQ under the guidance of Andrew Ford, as a winner of the National Composers Forum. She was also selected for the inaugural National Women Composer's Development Program in 2016-2018.

Nicolas won the prestigious Flinders Quartet Composition Competition in 2017 and 2019, and went on to receive the Flinders String Quartet 'All That We Are' residency. In 2017-18, Nicolas was commissioned by the Hush Foundation, and wrote for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, premiering her piece in City Recital Hall, Sydney, and further at the Melbourne Recital Centre. "We Won't Let You Down"''s album was ARIA nominated in 2019 for Best Independent Classical Album.

In 2018, Nicolas wrote for Gondwana voices and the Song Company. That same year, the Muses Trio premiered her piece 'Afflatus' in an Australian tour for International Women's Day. ABC Classic also interviewed Natalie and featured her in November 2018's 'AusMusic Month' and in their November imaging.

In 2020, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra commissioned Nicolas, and she won the prestigious Harold and Gwenneth Harris Endowment for Medical Humanities Harris Award 2019/20 for her doctoral work with music and healthcare. In February 2020 and again in 2023, she found herself featured on ABC Classic FM's 'Best of Australian Classical Music, and on the International Women's Day 'Women of Note' vol. 2 album, also released by ABC Classic FM.

In February 2021, the Southern Cross Soloists and Slava Grigoryan commissioned and premiered a new work of Nicolas' at QPAC, to their largest audience in 26 years. Other projects for 2020/21 included a collaboration with the Australian Ballet with Orchestra Victoria, and an album "The Shift" with award-winning guitarist Matt Withers thanks to a generous commission by the ABC. Nicolas was also a selected composer at the prestigious Connecticut Summerfest, and attended their festival in June 2021.

Nicolas was a winner of the MSO Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers' Program 2021, and "Union" was premiered in early 2022 at Hamer Hall. In Nov' '22 she was again a featured artist on ABC Classic's Aus Music Month where she appeared on several interviews with Russell Torrance. She will also be releasing a new album with the Hush Foundation in 2022/23 for guitar and piano, focused on her doctoral research around calm and catharsis. Also in 2022, Nicolas was commissioned by the Charles Perkins Centre and produced an audience-immersive and highly acclaimed string orchestra performance with Ensemble Apex, for the research facility's 10th birthday. "Something from Nothing"'s performance was the inaugural project of the new node she is co-leading at the CPC titled "Health and Creativity".

In 2023, Nicolas finalised and recorded an album for the Hush Foundation at the ACO's Pier 2/3 studios, with renowned engineer Bob Scott, award-winning Matt Withers, and industry-leading pianist Vatche Jambazian of Omega Ensemble. The 45-minute album will be released in 2024. She also was commissioned in 2023 by the Omega Ensemble for their CoLAB program. She will have her new work premiered by the ensemble on November 9th at the Sydney Opera House.

Natalie Nicolas — current to September 2023

Studied with

Michael Smetanin (2014)

Matthew Hindson


Collaborated with

Australian Ballet


Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Sydney Dreaming : for clarinet, violin, viola, cello, and piano (2023) Commissioned by Omega Ensemble.
Digital sheet music sample Something from Nothing : for string chamber orchestra (2022) Commissioned by the Charles Perkins Centre for their 10th anniversary.
Digital sheet music sample A Blue Beethoven : for string quartet (2022) Commissioned by the Flinders Quartet with support from FQ Syndicate #2
Digital sheet music sample Orpheus' Descent : for piano alone (2022) Commissioned by Alex Raineri for Brisbane Festival, facilitated by generous support by Vicki Brooke
Digital sheet music sample Union : for orchestra (2021) Commissioned by Cybec Foundation, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Digital sheet music sample Bloom : for four hands piano (2021) Commissioned by the Connecticut Summerfest