KU News Release

Jan. 6, 2010
Contact: Erin Curtis-Dierks, School of Music, (785) 864-9742

Contest winner to perform with KU Symphony Orchestra later this year

Christopher R. Nichols

More Information

LAWRENCE — As winner of the University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra Competition, Christopher R. Nichols, a KU doctoral student studying clarinet performance, will perform with the symphony later this year at the Lied Center.

Nichols won the November competition with a performance of Gerald Finzi’s “Clarinet Concerto, Op. 31.” There were about a dozen competitors.

“Gerald Finzi’s ‘Clarinet Concerto, Op. 31’ was completed and premiered 60 years ago at the Three Choirs Festival in the United Kingdom,” said Nichols. “The clarinet repertoire lacks a fantastic concerto from the romantic period such as Brahm’s ‘Violin Concerto,’ and I feel Finzi’s work fills this gap nicely for clarinetists. It’s a seldom-heard work, but one full of lyrical beauty and charm. The opportunity to present this work with an orchestra of KU’s Symphony Orchestra caliber is truly an honor.”

The date of the KU Symphony Orchestra concert will be announced later this year.

Originally from Allentown, Pa., Nichols graduated with a bachelor’s in music from the Boston Conservatory and a master’s in clarinet performance from Kansas State University. He is on the faculty of the Americana Music Academy in Lawrence while pursuing a doctorate in clarinet performance at KU. Nichols is a graduate teaching assistant to Stephanie Zelnick, assistant professor of music.

Nichols is the principal clarinetist for the 312th Army Band of Lawrence. He formerly was the principal clarinet and concertmaster of the 1st Infantry Division Band at Fort Riley, with performances throughout Europe and the United States. He has performed with the U. S. Army Europe Band, the Salina Symphony and the Civic Symphony Orchestra of Boston and as a soloist with the University Park Symphony Orchestra in Hyattsville, Md., and the Hays Symphony Orchestra.

He taught at the Ottley Music School, the Boston Arts Academy and the Berklee College of Music Preparatory School. Nichols is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, the International Clarinet Association, Pi Kappa Lambda national music honor society and Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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