Critically acclaimed clarinetist Christopher Nichols enjoys a dynamic career with performances as a soloist and in ensembles across the United States and abroad. As a professional instrumental soloist, he received praise from the American Prize: “…lovely long line, evocative playing, flexible…tone is rich and round, welcoming, clean and elegant…fine performances from a skilled artist." Pizzicato's review of his recital disc "Elegia" states "In this varied program, Christopher Nichols’ performances are rich-timbred, imaginative and vivid. The clarinetist impresses with a virtuoso playing, yet the most fascinating here is his finely nuanced cantabile which makes the slow movements so charming." In October 2017, Akademia Music Awards commended "Elegia" the distinction of Best Classical Album: "Elegant and enthusiastic, Christopher Nichols's instrumental collection is well-provisioned with euphonic European melodies, tense concentrations of tone and exultant resurrections of harmony that bring the sound to the highest altitudes of classical music."
Dr. Nichols regularly performs with orchestras such as the Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City, the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the Kennett Symphony and the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of Christiana Winds and has recently collaborated with the acclaimed Serafin String Quartet, the Taggart-Grycky Duo, and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He served for over a decade in the Army Music Career program with performances throughout the United States, Germany, France and Austria.
A dedicated pedagogue, Dr. Nichols joined the faculty of the University of Delaware as Assistant Professor of Clarinet in 2013. As an artist clinician, he regularly appears at universities throughout the United States. His students have found success in competitions, won positions in military bands, and serve as music educators.
Dr. Nichols has appeared as a featured soloist at conferences of the International Clarinet Association, European Clarinet Association, National Association of Collegiate Wind and Percussion Instructors and College Music Society. Live performances have been selected for inclusion in the Audio Performance Archive of College Music Symposium. Additionally, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and public radio in Kansas, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and Michigan have broadcast both live performances and studio recordings. In 2015, the Delaware Division of the Arts awarded Dr. Nichols an Established Artist Fellowship in recognition for his work as a solo recitalist. The internationally distributed label Navona Records released his debut recital disc Elegia with pianist Julie Nishimura in September 2017.
Dr. Nichols’ is an active member of the National Association for Music Education, College Music Society, Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society, International Clarinet Association and Music Teachers National Association. He currently serves as the College Music Society Northeast Chapter’s Executive Board Member for Performance and as Audio Reviews Editor for The Clarinet.
Dr. Nichols holds a Bachelor of Music, magna cum laude, from the Boston Conservatory, Master of Music from Kansas State University, and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Kansas. His primary mentors include Ian Greitzer, Kenneth Radnofsky, Steven Barta, Tod Kerstetter and Stephanie Zelnick.
As a Légère Reeds Endorsing Artist and a Buffet Crampon USA Artist Clinician, Dr. Nichols performs exclusively on Légère Signature Series reeds and Buffet R-13 clarinets.