About Thomas Nickell


Twenty year-old Thomas Nickell continues to garner praise for his strong interpretations and insightful readings of some of the piano’s most demanding literature. An array of accolades mark the progress of his career, among them his having been named a Young Steinway Artist. Selection for the prestigious honor—one shared by less than eighty other pianists throughout the world—came to Nickell at fifteen, a year before he was even able to accept it, because of the minimum age requirement of sixteen years.

His affiliation with Steinway also included his being selected to be a part of the Steinway & Sons Spirio library of great artists, which includes his performance of solo preludes by Messiaen, in addition to the Schubert Ländler duets with Cosmo Buono.

Continuing to distinguish himself in performances throughout the world, audiences and critics alike credit Nickell with not only an energetic and refined musical presence, but also a sensitivity and ability to interpret that extends well beyond his years. Coaching with Steinway Artist Cosmo Buono, he describes him as having “a keen understanding of the instrument’s possibilities.”

His recital tour last year began in May in Ancona, Italy, where he made his debut with the Orchestra di Ancona under the baton of Maestro Mirco Barani, at the Università Politecnica delle Marche in what proved to be a sold-out performance, with hundreds of people having to be turned away.  Two other sold-out concerts were held in Gesi at the Cattedrale di San Settimio Jesi, and the Chiesetta in Portonovo.

He continued his summer with Orchestra of the Swan and three July recitals in the United Kingdom, with critics describing him as “a player’s player and composer” following his debut at the Lichfield Festival. These performances completed a year with Maestro Curtis and OOTS that not only began with a US and Carnegie Hall debut, but also included the US premiere of British composer David Matthews’ Piano Concerto, Op. 111. Nickell had premiered the work in London the previous year at Kings Place. 

Recent performances include a concert in Boston under the auspices of Mayor Marty J. Walsh and Julie Burros, the City’s Chief of Arts and Culture; upcoming performances in Chicago with the Oistrakh Symphony under the baton of Mina Zikri; as well as his Zankell Hall at Carnegie Hall debut with the Oistrakh this  past June. 

Nickell has had his compositions performed in Europe, Asia, and the United States.  His Italian tour included the premiere of two new works: “Forest Scenes” for flute and piano, written for Beatrice Petrocchi, and “Love and Harmony,” based on a poem by William Blake for four-part unaccompanied chorus. He is currently enrolled at the New School, Mannes College of Music in New York, with a double major in Piano Performance and Composition.