“A performance of both exquisite precision and mature romanticism. Nickell’s mastery of the keyboard—however effortless and limpid in appearance—is never in doubt.”

– Stephen R. Ward


A promising new talent, 18-year-old American pianist Thomas Nickell has already garnered recognition for energetic, refined, and focused performances in music centers throughout Europe and the United States. In a few short years, Nickell has given public performances of important works by Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Gershwin, Khachaturian, Liszt, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, as well as his own compositions.

During the summer of 2017, Mr. Nickell embarks on a tour of the United Kingdom with the Orchestra of the Swan and Artistic Director David Curtis; located in Stratford-upon-Avon, the highly regarded Orchestra of the Swan has collaborated with Mr. Nickell on multiple occasions since 2015. Tour performances take place in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Lichfield, and London featuring selections from Gershwin, Copland, and Dvorak.

In February 2015, Mr. Nickell made his official debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall as soloist with the Orchestra of the Swan. The program featured the United States premiere of England’s prominent composer David Matthews’ Piano Concerto, Op. 111. Mr. Nickell gave the London premiere of the Matthews’ work with the same forces in July 2016. Michael Miller of New York Arts praised the performance:

At 18, Thomas Nickell, even in a world populated by numerous prodigies who began to play in public at very
young ages, still deserves to be considered a young, emerging artist, and this concert showed him to be a
notably mature and tasteful one. […] Mr. Nickell played [Mozart’s Piano Concerto in No. 12] with the finely articulated passagework and crystalline tone that has become a sort of lingua franca in Mozart playing on modern instruments. …Nickell was able to use it to give us a winning and persuasive performance.

Having won us over with this Mozart, Nickell proceeded to amaze us with Olivier Messiaen’s exquisite early preludes for piano, still evocative of works Debussy was writing fifteen years earlier, but imbued with a fiery mysticism that is Messiaen’s own. Nickell’s beautiful tone in the higher registers served the composer’s moods
and atmosphere well, and he avoided over-pedaling. He most definitely had his own concept of these pieces, and
his freedom from the more obvious clichés was impressive.”                        
— March 26, 2017

David La Marche of New York Concert Review was also highly enamored of the performance: “Musicians such as
Thomas Nickell and the Orchestra of the Swan, who place integrity and enjoyment above all else, are a rarity and a
pleasure to encounter. I hope to hear them again soon.”                                              
— March 4, 2017

2016-17 season engagements for Mr. Nickell included recitals in Italy and an appearance as a special guest artist at the tenth Annual ABC Gala at Carnegie Hall. During the summer of 2016, Mr. Nickell appeared in recital in London and made his debut as soloist with the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of David Curtis. He participated in recital at the 53rd Festivale Pianistico di Brescia e Bergamo in Mozzo, Italy, and played additional recitals in Bergamo, Milan, and Busseto, Italy during the spring of 2016. Previously, he was heard as soloist with the Orchestra Fiati di Ancona in Osimo and Ancona, Italy, and made his recital debut in León and Madrid, Spain; Venice and Bologna, Italy; and Somianka and Warsaw, Poland.  In 2014, Nickell travelled to Japan to perform recitals in Fujisawa and Tokyo.  

Mr. Nickell has appeared as soloist with Chicago’s Oistrakh Symphony, led by Mina Zikri, and as soloist with Poland’s Sinfonia Viva under Tomasz Radziwonowicz.

Mr. Nickell is currently enrolled at the New School, Mannes College of Music, studying piano with J Y Song, who holds a B.A. (Music) and B.S. (Microbiology & Immunology) from Stanford University, graduating with distinction and honors, a D.M.A. from The Juilliard School studying with Jerome Lowenthal, and an M.B.A. from NYU Stern School of Business. Mr. Nickell, who makes his home in New York City, likes to paint in his spare time and enjoys photography, the occasional foray into writing, and reading non-fiction, especially about composers.