Nicholas’s research interests include Russian piano music, especially that of Balakirev (1837–1910), and the piano concertos of Johann Baptist Cramer (1771–1858)
His recent projects include the recording of the complete works of Balakirev for Naxos, including a good deal of unpublished work and Nicholas’s own transcription of Tamara; a new urtext performing edition of certain works is planned. He is also preparing a performing edition of the complete piano concertos of Cramer with a view to recording them as well.
In September 2007, he gave the world premiere performance of Balakirev’s Grande Fantasie on Russian Folksongs in St Petersburg. His paper ‘Balakirev’s sonata — elucidating the complexities, conveying the meaning’ was read at a conference about Balakirev and his school and was later published.
Nicholas was Artistic Director of the Balakirev Centenary Celebrations held at St John’s Smith Square in
November 2010: these concerts included a substantial number of pieces which had never been performed in concert in London and also included a number of world premieres, most notable of which was a completely new and unpublished piano sonata, a substantial work written by the young composer when he was only eighteen.
Recent recordings include a disc of Russian music for violin/viola and piano for Chandos with Lydia Mordkovitch: this recording featured the first recorded performance of Andrei Volkonsky’s (1933–2008) Sonata for Viola and Piano (1955); a recording of the complete music for Viola and Piano of Sergei Vasilenko (1872–1956) with Elena Artamonova, released by Toccata Classic.