Nicholas Chalmers is one of the leading conductors in the UK. Founder Artistic Director of Nevill Holt Opera and Senior Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House, Nicholas is widely recognised as having established some of the most exciting and highly successful artistic and education projects in recent years. His work is driven by a passion to bring classical music to the next generation and to ensure that people in areas of under provision have better access to training and engagement in the performing arts.
Nicholas made his BBC Proms conducting debut in 2020 with the BBC Singers. He has programmed and conducted numerous broadcasts and concerts throughout the UK with the group and helped establish the Singers’ partnership with youth choral groups in Stratford East, the future home of the BBC performing groups.
Educated at the University of Oxford and Piacenza Conservatoire, Nicholas has held positions at major UK musical institutions including Chichester Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, English National Opera and the Royal Opera House.
From 2011, Nicholas was conductor of Northern Ireland Opera and established the chorus and partnership with the Ulster Orchestra and conducted The Medium, Tosca (Best Opera - Irish Times Theatre Awards), The Turn of the Screw, The Bear, Macbeth, The Flying Dutchman, Salome, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan Tutte, Powder Her Face and Noye’s Fludde (Belfast Zoo, Beijing and Shanghai).
In 2013, Nicholas founded Nevill Holt Opera and established an award-winning education and associate artists programme. The company has introduced countless young people to opera in the East Midlands and its year-round education programme works with schools across the region. The rapid success of the company under his leadership led to a new opera house being built at Nevill Holt in Leicestershire. It opened in 2018 with Le nozze di Figaro. The exquisite new building has won plaudits for its acoustic design and reached the final of the RIBA Stirling prize in 2019. With Nevill Holt Opera, Nicholas has conducted The Magic Flute, La bohème, The Turn of the Screw, Carmen, Rigoletto, The Elixir of Love, Tosca, Noye’s Fludde, Le Nozze di Figaro, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cosí fan tutte and La traviata.
Nicholas works with leading orchestras and opera companies in the UK and overseas: Royal Northern Sinfonia; Britten Sinfonia; Manchester Camerata; BBC Concert Orchestra; The CBSO; The Ulster Orchestra; The English Chamber Orchestra; London Mozart Players; China Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra; Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra; Zurich Opera; Opera National de Lyon.
Nicholas’s education and community projects aim to impact thousands of people. He runs award winning education projects in the East Midlands and is curator of - Opera Nation - (a book of famous opera aria arrangements for young people) at the Royal Opera House. At Covent Garden, Nicholas also leads the Sing at ROH programme and works with the youth opera company. 2022 marks his involvement in the BIG SING with Britten Pears Arts.
‘What made the performance so special was the musical proceedings expertly overseen by Chalmers conducting the Royal Northern Sinfonia. He is a brisk but natural Mozartian, and his gift for spotting excellent young singers is a huge boon for this and other medium-scale repertoire.’ Hugh Canning – The Sunday Times