Nicola graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2010 with a Master of Music with distinction, studying with Simon Channing and Jaime Martin. Her studies were generously supported by The Worshipful Company of Musicians, the Tait Memorial Trust and an Australian Bicentennial Scholarship. Prior to moving to London, she was awarded the Lenore Buckle Music Scholarship to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with James Kortum.
During her time at the RCM, she was invited by the College to participate in the Castleton Festival in America, under the direction of Lorin Maazel and was also awarded the 2010 All Flutes Plus Prize in the RCM Senior Woodwind Competition and the June Emerson Launchpad Prize with her wind quintet.
Since graduating, she has joined the Band of the Royal Yeomanry as their principal flautist and played with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of the English National Ballet and with the Macao Orchestra.
As a soloist, she has performed recitals at St John’s Smith Square, St George’s Bloomsbury Church and as part of the New London Orchestra’s Young Performers Concert Series at the Foundling Museum. Whilst in Australia, she performed concertos with the Wollongong Symphony Orchestra, SBS Radio and Television Youth Orchestra and the Sydney Conservatorium Modern Music Ensemble.
Nicola is a member of the Dr K Sextet, a contemporary music ensemble passionate about playing and promoting new music. The sextet has commissioned works by young composers living and working in the UK and abroad. The group were artists at the 2013 Cheltenham Music Festival Composer Academy and were invited to attend the Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe in 2012. They have also organised their own Dr K Music Festival, have recorded works for various composers and events and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
In her spare time Nicola loves to teach her many enthusiastic young students, explore London and plan holidays to sunny and warm destinations!
Did you know? Nicola is running the 2014 Oxford Half Marathon as part of a team of 25 Southbank Sinfonia musicians and staff. Find out more >
What or who inspired you to become a professional musician?
After learning the flute for about 3 months, I announced to my family that I wanted to be a famous flautist like James Galway with not just one, but numerous golden flutes to choose from. I also thought I could combine my successful musical career with being an astronaut.
Watching my first teacher perform with an orchestra was really inspiring and she helped foster a deep love of music and desire for learning.
What is your earliest musical memory?
Trying out different instruments in our early years music class at my regional conservatorium in Wollongong, and hating the feeling of the violin strings on my fingers. When the flute came along however, I could make a sound on my first go (not as easy as it sounds!) and I told my mother there and then that that was the instrument I wanted to play.
Nicola’s place in Southbank Sinfonia is generously supported by the Sir Charles Mackerras Chair.