If the title “accompanist” suggests to some that the bearer has a mere supporting role, then it is one quite unsuited to describe Christopher Nickol. His qualifications and experience alone testify to that whilst his massive contribution to Bearsden Choir can best be summed up in the words of Musical Director Andrew Nunn:
“The roles of conductor and accompanist have to form a mutually supportive partnership and I am so grateful to be able to work with such a talented colleague as Chris. Not only is he an accompanist and organist of the highest quality, but he is also totally supportive of me both inrehearsals and in my vision for the choir. Chris’s impact on the success anddevelopment of Bearsden Choir continues to be huge and I welcome this chance to show my appreciation of the pleasure of working with him.”
Christopher Nickol was born in Cambridge, and was a music scholar at
Ampleforth College; an organ scholar at Royal Holloway College, London University; and a postgraduate scholar at the Royal College of Music. He is Director of Music at New Kilpatrick Church, Bearsden; a staff pianist and organist at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; and a pianist at theDance School of Scotland. He is also a regular deputy organist at Glasgow Cathedral and Glasgow University.
In addition to playing for the Bearsden Choir, Christopher has performed as an accompanist and soloist with many of Scotland’s major choirs, including Caledonian Voices, Glasgow Chamber Choir, Glasgow Cathedral Choir and Choral Society, the NYCoS choirs, the RCS Chamber Choir, and the choir of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow. He has given organ recitals throughout the U.K., and also in Europe & the U.S.A. He has broadcast on BBC Radio and TV, and has released 6 CDs, featuring organs in Scotland and Ireland. He is a regular contributor to Kelvingrove Art Gallery’s programme of daily organ concerts, and has given over 500 recitals at themuseum.
Bearsden Choir members know Chris as a quiet man, but one possessed of a quick-fire wit that often expressesitself through clever quirky musical responses to chance events and remarks during rehearsal. Whenever a noted musician, in any genre, dies Chris can be heard in the rehearsal interval quietly celebrating thei rachievement by playing whole pieces from their repertoire without a single note before him. We were delighted when this talent caught the attention of no less a publication than The Times; the newspaper reported on the impact he made on visitors to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum when he unexpectedly included Life on Mars in his organ recital on the morning on which the death of David Bowie was announced.