With a passion for both classical and modern piano performance, Nicholas Young is emerging as one of Australia's most captivating and versatile young musicians. Currently based in Salzburg, Nicholas was born in Sydney and began studies there at the age of six with Alison Salkeld, gaining his Associate and Licentiate Diplomas (Australian Music Examinations Board) both with Distinction in 2004 and 2005 respectively. He subsequently studied with Daniel Herscovitch and was awarded his Fellowship Diploma in 2009 at the age of eighteen.
Nicholas pursued further artistic training through the Bachelor of Music (Performance) degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as a recipient of the University of Sydney Outstanding Achievement Scholarship. He graduated in 2013 with First Class Honours and University Medal for his research and performances of Busoni's original compositions for solo piano. Nicholas subsequently undertook Masters studies at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg with Claudius Tanski, graduating with Distinction (mit Auszeichnung) and the highest possible grades in all performance and academic components. In support of this period of study, he was awarded the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship (Instrumental Music Category) in 2014. The esteemed teachers from whom Nicholas has taken masterclasses include Dmitri Bashkirov, Christian Zacharias, Robert Levin, Dominique Merlet, Jacques Rouvier, Lars Vogt, Kathryn Selby, Lang Lang and many others.
Since winning his first medal at the age of six, Nicholas has gained a steadily growing reputation through his appearances in various festivals and competitions. His first major prize as the winner of the 8th Yamaha Australian Youth Piano Competition in 2007 was followed by further important accolades including Winner of the 2011 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Award (Keyboard Category), Runner-Up Prize of the 2012 Australian Youth Classical Music Competition, and Second Prize of the 2012 Australian National Piano Award.
In 2015, Nicholas extended his successes to the international level, receiving that year First Prize and Best Beethoven Performance of the ‘Grand Prize Virtuoso’ International Music Competition (London), Third Prize of the 15th Rome International Piano Competition (Soloists 'B'), and Honourable Mentions at the 7th International Rosario Marciano Piano Competition (Vienna) and 1st International Cochran Piano Competition.
Nicholas has given solo and chamber performances in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy, Austria and the UK in such iconic venues as the Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Centre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, London Wigmore Hall, Munich Gasteig and Vienna Ehrbar Hall. He has appeared as soloist with the West Australian, Queensland, Adelaide and Willoughby Symphony Orchestras, working with international conductors including Nicholas Braithwaite, Vladimir Verbitsky and Edvard Tchivzhel, and his performances have been broadcast by Fine Music FM and ABC Classic FM. In 2014, he was invited to perform with the Vienna International Orchestra as part of the Vienna ConcertoFest concert series. Since 2009, Nicholas has been officially recognised as a Young Steinway Artist.
While maintaining an intense study of the classical repertory, Nicholas has an equally strong interest in promoting the music of today. He has performed in national and/or world premieres of several new solo and ensemble works including Calogero Panvino’s Sonata 101 (2010), Huck Hodge’s Omen, unscroll a canon war! (Hommage à Nancarrow) (2010), David Fulmer’s Vor den Morgengrauen (2011), and Kevin Lang’s Amidst marbled silhouettes (2013), as well as performing the music of Roger Smalley, Elliott Carter, Alan Rawsthorne, Olivier Messiaen and the Second Viennese School. In support of his future work in new music, Nicholas was selected in 2016 as joint winner of the biennial Michael Kieran Harvey Scholarship.
The highlight of the two concerts, for me, was the Op 111, Beethoven's very last piano sonata, written in 1822, five years before his death and when he was totally deaf. Nicholas Young seemed totally immersed in the mind of Beethoven, with a wonderfully expressive performance, full of heart-felt passion and a technique to die for. He handled the many moods in the two quite long movements with great assuredness, producing a very convincing result."