Listed among Australia’s best classical performers by the ABC in 2019, New Zealand-born harpsichordist, organist, pianist, composer and arranger, Donald Nicolson is a prominent figure in performance and research of the music of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe, and in high demand as a keyboardist, composer, and arranger. A PhD in Musicology at the University of Melbourne in 2018, and an avid reader of the classics and ancient rhetoric, Donald teaches historically-informed performance practice at the University of Melbourne, and gives regular talks and lectures on music and history.
Since 2011, Donald has been based in Melbourne maintaining a busy performing schedule in the early music scene and on the orchestral platform. A sought-after continuo player, Donald frequently performs with Pinchgut Opera, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Van Diemen’s Band, and regularly collaborates with Australia’s early music specialists. He works frequently as a pianist, harpsichordist and organist for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and has directed numerous performances from the harpsichord for the MSO and ACO.
Donald is co-founder of ARIA-nominated trio, Latitude 37, and a key member of Anja & Zlatna, an ensemble which performs the folk music of the Balkans and infuses it with the improvisational practices of the seventeenth century. He had made several orchestrations and arrangements for Van Diemen’s Band. These ensembles have released several albums, which form part of an extensive discography that encapsulates Donald’s well-known diversity and broadness as a musician, ranging from William Byrd (Latitude 37: Royal Consorts) to John Psathas (Helix).