No stranger to the world of musical theatre, Nicholas recently completed a dramatic song cycle, On Dreams Alone, which has been in preparation for the last two decades. This work for six soloists, chorus, strings and piano is slated for performances and a recording in 2018. Other works in this vein have included settings of Edward Lear poems and a five-movement oratorio, Rochester, which was premiered by the Granite State Choral Society (Rochester, NH) in March 2015. The Raven will be reprised for the Keiser Concert Series at St. Paul's School on Friday April 13th, 2018, along with the first full performance of On Dreams Alone.
Nicholas is in high demand as a composer, receiving numerous commissions from choirs across the world. Most recently these have included The Hanson Institute for American Music (Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY), Lyric Fest (Philadelphia, PA), Christchurch Cathedral (Cincinnati, OH), The Commonwealth Youth Choirs (Philadelphia, PA), The Chancel Choir (Lubbock, TX), The Association of Anglican Musicians (Hartford, CT), St. John’s Cathedral (Albuquerque, NM), St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (Newton, MA), Dumbarton Concerts (Washington, DC), Granite State Choral Society (Rochester, NH), Shadyside Presbyterian Church (Pittsburgh, PA), Christ Church (Andover, MA), St. John’s Church (Beverly Farms, MA), Chorus Angelicus (Torrington CT), Chorus Abilene (Abilene, TX), Cathedra (Washington, DC), St. John Cantius Parish (Chicago, IL.), and The Concord Chorale (Concord, NH).
In 2003 Nicholas founded Tiffany Consort, an ensemble of eight accomplished singers. The group's first CD, O Magnum Mysterium, was nominated for a Grammy, and the second CD, In Sure and Certain Hope: Choral Music of Nicholas White, was released in December 2006. Both recordings are available on the MSR Classics label. Tiffany Consort began a new period of activity in March 2015, presenting a concert for Dumbarton Concerts (Washington, DC.) This concert featured works by Bach, Tallis and Allegri, alongside White's Kyrie on a Theme of Albinoni, written for Dumbarton Concerts fifteen years ago, and a brand new commission for six voices and cello entitled My Mother's Shadow, based on the fourth cello suite of J.S. Bach, upon whose birthday the concert took place.
White's all-Bach organ recording, The Amsterdam Bach, is available on the Pro Organo label. His recorded work is also represented on the Gothic, Raven, Meridian and Gamut labels. Nicholas is an active and critically acclaimed composer, with music published by Hinshaw, Trinitas, Biretta Books, Augsburg Fortress, Mark Foster and Oxford University Press. His large-scale work for solo soprano, chorus, organ, brass and percussion, Magnificat, was premiered at the National Cathedral in 1997, and was performed in a newly orchestrated version in May 2009. Other large-scale commissions include Full Freedom, a piece for multiple choirs, instrumentalists and dancers, written for the annual choral tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in January 2002 at The Kennedy Center (Washington DC.) Dumbarton Concerts (Washington, DC) commissioned White’s 2013 setting of Poe’s The Raven, which received great critical acclaim, and subsequent performances in Philadelphia and Washington in November 2015.
At St. Paul’s School, Nicholas is responsible for a chapel music program that is home to a fifty-voice Chapel Choir, rehearsing several days each week, and singing regular services of choral evensong in the magnificent Henry Vaughan and Ralph Adams Cram designed Chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul. The recently restored organ, originally installed by E.M. Skinner in 1930 (Op. 825) supports the singing of the school in daily chapel services, and is frequently heard in recital. Compline is sung weekly in The Old Chapel, and The Keiser Concert Series is host to many performances through the year, with musicians from the school community and with guest artists from across the world. Recent performers have included the choirs of Clare College (Cambridge UK), St. Thomas Church (New York , NY), Cathedra (Washington, DC), St. Thomas Church (Leipzig, Germany), Schola Cantorum Coralina (Cuba), Quink (The Netherlands), Stile Antico (England) and Atalante (International.) The Chapel Choir has recently performed the Fauré Requiem, the Rutter Requiem, Britten's Rejoice In The Lamb, and the first performance of Nicholas White’s Gloria. The Chapel Choir frequently travels within New England, and has sung concerts and services during two recent tours of English cathedrals and chapels in 2014 and 2017.
In 2013 Nicholas was appointed Music Director of The Boston Cecilia, one of America’s oldest and finest performing arts organizations. Four seasons with The Boston Cecilia included a critically acclaimed performance of J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor, G.F. Handel's Dixit Dominus, and W.A. Mozart's Davide Penitente at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall; a "mesmerizing" performance of Maurice Durufle's Requiem; and the Boston premiere of White's own work for soprano, choir, strings and organ - From Earth To Heaven - which featured the Lydian String Quartet. Nicholas conducted a performance of Mozart's Requiem in tribute to his predecessor, Donald Teeters, who died in 2014, after having led The Boston Cecilia for 45 years. Other performances included Dvorak's Mass in D, Janacek's Otce nas (The Lord's Prayer), Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Tavener's Ex Maria Virgine, Brahms’ German Requiem, and a program of 20th Century American Choral Music. Nicholas stepped down from this position in 2017, in order to focus more on composition.
Nicholas has given many performances throughout the United States. Immediately prior to his appointment at St. Paul’s, he was Artistic Director of Joyful Noise (Chorus Angelicus & Gaudeamus), a choral organization based in Northwest Connecticut, and Organist & Choirmaster of St. John's Episcopal Church, Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. Nicholas was born in London, England, and received his early musical training as a treble chorister. He held his first organist and choirmaster position at the age of fifteen, going on to become Organ Scholar of Clare College, Cambridge, from 1986-1989. Since coming to the U.S. in 1989, Nicholas has held various positions in churches, colleges and schools. These include Washington National Cathedral (Assistant Organist & Choirmaster), Cathedral Choral Society (Keyboard Artist) and Woodley Ensemble (Music Director) in Washington, DC; St. Michael’s Church (Organist & Choirmaster), Dalton School (Choir Director), Columbia University (Adjunct Organist) in New York City.
Nicholas White’s musical career has evolved over three decades living and working in the United States. He is a Grammy nominated composer and conductor, as well as a versatile organist, pianist and singer with experience in many different styles of music. In 2011, Nicholas was appointed to the post of Director of Chapel Music & Organist at St. Paul’s School, Concord, New Hampshire, where he lives and works year round, focusing on his compositional work in the summer vacation time.