Listed among Australia’s best classical performers by the ABC in 2019, harpsichordist, organist and pianist Donald Nicolson is a prominent figure in performance and research of the music of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe, and in high demand as a keyboardist, composer, and arranger.
Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Donald commenced harpsichord studies with Douglas Mews at Victoria University, and subsequently at the Royal Conservatorium, The Hague with early music legend Ton Koopman. There he focussed on the performance of sixteenth-century English virginal music and the seventeenth-century French clavecin school.
Donald graduated with a PhD in Musicology at the University of Melbourne in 2018, submitting a thesis that focussed on the relationship between seventeenth-century French social history and the keyboard preludes of Louis Couperin. An avid reader of the classics and ancient rhetoric Donald teaches historically-informed performance practice at the University of Melbourne, and gives regular talks and lectures on music and history.