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Nicholas Ashton

   Professional Membership Status
Name: Nicholas Ashton
Photo - Nicholas Ashton
Location: Edinburgh
United Kingdom EH4
Contact: Send Nicholas Ashton a message
Additional Info: Nicholas Ashton was educated at Chetham’s School, RNCM and on postgraduate scholarships at the Conservatoire de Musique, Geneva and the Musikhochschule Frankfurt-am-Main. His principal teachers were Renna Kellaway and Joachim Volkmann and he received coaching from Vlado Perlemuter, Jorge Bolet, and Joaquin Achucarro. Following a successful formal debut at the 1980 Manchester International Festival, he proceeded to perform widely throughout Europe for ten years, as a soloist (Tchaikovsky No.1, Stravinsky, Saint-Saens 2, Mozart K491, K413, K414, K488, K595, Schumann, Liszt No.1, Beethoven nos 2 and 3) and recitalist.

After three years working as a teacher and translator in Frankfurt-am-Main and Manchester and one year in London as an opera agent at Anglo-Swiss, he resumed performing as a result of encouragement from Murray Perahia (at the Centre for Advanced Studies, Snape) and Menahem Pressler (at the Centre for Music and Arts, Banff, Canada). His first public recital in Scotland in 1995 was highly praised and resulted in regular offers to play. A live recording of a subsequent recital at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh was brought out on CD in 1996. Since then he has given seven solo recitals at the venue and has performed to critical acclaim in concerts throughout the UK and in Germany. He has also contributed regularly as a performer and in interview, including for the BBC, NDR2, Bayern 4, Radio Suisse-Romande, in the USA and New Zealand.

Between 2000 to 2022 Nicholas performed over eighty separate solo and chamber programmes for the Hamburg Chamber Arts Association/Hamburger Kammerkunstverein (of which he was Artistic Director in 2002). In 2005 he was invited to give recitals and masterclasses at Central Washington University as part of the ISEP international exchange programme, in 2009 to Pirkenmaa University for the Applied Sciences, Tampere, Finland, in 2009 the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and in 2010 again to Tampere, Finland.

A CD recording of the complete works for piano and the piano quintet by the distinguished Scottish composer Robert Crawford, released on the Delphian Records label in February 2008, attracted widespread praise in the media, including International Record Review, The Scotsman and The Gramophone. Recordings of contemporary two piano repertoire with Delphian with the distinguished Lithuanian pianist Lauryna Sableviciute are in preparation, with two visits to Kaunas and Vilnius, Lithuania to performance record for Lithuanian Radio Klasik, in 2023 and 2024.

Nicholas was a regular chamber music partner with the Edinburgh Quartet, performing a substantial part of the core piano quintet and quartet repertoire (Shostakovich, Schnittke, Dvorak A major, Crawford, Schumann, Elgar, Dohnanyi (2nd), Fauré (1st) Mozart G minor and Eb major Quartets). Recent performances of the Elgar, Fauré (1st) and Dohnanyi (2nd) quintets and the song cycles On Wenlock Edge (Vaughan Williams) with Thomas Hobbs, and La Bonne Chanson (Fauré) with James McOran- Campbell, have been warmly received by both the public and press. Nicholas was a member of the Cantilena Players for two years (from 2021-22), performing the Beethoven Archduke Trio, the Piano Quartet op 16, the Mozart Concerto K414 and other chamber works.

Nicholas is currently Senior Tutor in Piano at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland after a career spanning 29 years at Edinburgh Napier University as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Director of Quality for the School of Arts and Creative Industries. His carefully nurtured students have been regularly successful in competition and also as postgraduates at RNCM, RSAMD/RCS, RCM, Guildhall, RWCMD and RAM, as well as internationally.

Nicholas is currently preparing work towards Ph.D in the field of performance and reception theory. In addition, he has a keen interest in theories of film, particularly feminist film history and theory.
Additional Specialisms: Solo Performance, Contemporary Music
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