Nicholas Chalmers is one of the leading conductors in the UK. He is Principal Conductor of the National Youth Choir 18-25 and Associate Conductor, Learning for the BBC Singers. He is also a Senior Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House, where he will make his conducting debut in 2024. Nicholas was educated at the University of Oxford and Piacenza Conservatoire.

His work is driven by a passion to bring classical music to the next generation and to ensure people in areas of under provision have better access to training and engagement in the performing arts. He has worked with many of the UK’s leading music institutions including BBC Concert Orchestra, English National Opera, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia as well as at St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. His international portfolio includes China Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Zurich Opera and Opera National de Lyon.

In 2012, Nicholas founded Nevill Holt Opera and established an award-winning education and associate artists programme. The company has introduced countless young people to opera in the East Midlands and its year-round education programme works with schools across the region. With Nevill Holt Opera, Nicholas has conducted The Magic Flute, La bohème, The Turn of the Screw, Carmen, Rigoletto, The Elixir of Love, Tosca, Noye’s Fludde, Le nozze di Figaro, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cosí fan tutte and La traviata.

The Fernside Chair leads the Academy’s postgraduate Choral Conducting programme, the UK’s longest-established specialist course in conducting for choirs. Notable alumni include Tansy Castledine, Steven Fox and Rachel Staunton. The position is one of five endowed Chairs established as part of the Royal Academy of Music’s Future campaign. The Academy is the only UK conservatoire to have raised philanthropic funds to create an endowment which funds the post securing its long-term future, demonstrating the Academy’s commitment to this area of British musical heritage and cultural life.

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Principal of the Royal Academy of Music commented:

‘I’m very excited that Nicholas Chalmers is joining the Academy. He is an outstanding conductor, teacher and a wide-ranging musician who will bring fresh perspectives to our community – and most crucially to our students as they prepare for their professional lives.’

Nicholas added:

'For 26 years Patrick Russill has nurtured and guided the next generation of choral leaders. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to build on his work and prepare the choral conductors of the future for the ever-changing musical landscape in the UK and abroad. With 2.8 million people in the UK engaging with choral music each week, choral conductors are much sought-after. I look forward to supporting our students as they move into the profession and equipping them for the delights and challenges they will face in their careers.’

Image © Mark Allan