Nicola Thomas

Nicola Thomas went to Chetham’s School of Music, the Britten Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies and the Royal Northern College of Music.

She gained a Young Music Makers Broadcast on Radio 3 playing the Brahms E Minor cello sonata, as well as winning the Bach Cello Prize and the Barbarolli Cello Prize.

Whilst at the RNCM Nicola was a member of a piano trio, which performed extensively throughout the UK, including a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in London. Nicola went to Prussia Cove a year before graduating from the RNCM, and had the privilege of several lessons and public masterclasses with Jacqueline du Pré, before moving to London to continue her studies and begin a busy freelance career.

Nicola worked extensively with The London Mozart Players, London Bach Orchestra, Kent Opera, BBC Symphony Orchestra and The Academy of St Martins-in-the-Fields, with whom she toured internationally, playing at major venues in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Salzburg,Berlin and Vienna.

Chamber music has always been an important part of Nicola’s musical life, and whilst living in London she worked in many ensembles playing contemporary music as well as classical chamber repertoire. In 1987 she gave a recital at the Purcell Room on the South Bank, and in 1989 joined the Archduke Piano Trio of London.

Nicola moved to Cardiff in 1992 and then to West Wales in 1996. Her commitment to playing, teaching and the Archduke Piano Trio led to her becoming Artistic Director of The West Coast School of Chamber Music, later to become International School of Chamber Music at Rhosygilwen. She has had works commissioned for her by Arts Wave Wales and the National Arts Collection Fund (Dyfed Branch) composed by the eminent Welsh composer John Metcalf. Nicola has since recorded his ‘Castell Dolbadarn’ for cello and harp (with Eleanor Turner) on Signum Records.

Nicola has performed the complete works of Beethoven for cello and piano for the Peter Gould Music Trust as well as numerous other recitals. Along with her teaching practice and playing life, Nicola is Artistic Director of the community-based music project ‘Chamber Music for All’. She passionately believes in the power of live sound and is continually working to help young (and older!) people explore and value the boundless possibilities that music can provide for both the player and the listener.