Contemporary music pianist, Nicolas Hodges, has appeared as soloist with orchestras such as the Boston Symphony, Berliner Philharmoniker, BBC Symphony and Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, amongst others. Distinguished conductors with whom Hodges has collaborated include Thomas Adès, Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim and Leonard Slatkin. Hodges has premiered many piano concerti, including works commissioned for him by Hugues Dufourt, Pascal Dusapin and Rebecca Saunders. As a recitalist, Nicolas Hodges has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall and has appeared at many festivals including the BBC Proms, Lucerne Festival and Tanglewood. Hodges also collaborates regularly with the Arditti Quartet, Adrian Brendel, Colin Currie and as a member of the Trio Accanto.
The dedication to contemporary music is no exception, but a natural part of the repertoire of Nicolas Hodges. As Tempo magazine has written: “Hodges is a refreshing artist; he plays the classics as if they were written yesterday, and what was written yesterday as if it were already a classic.” His access to contemporary music combines a clear, analytical view with romantic emphasis and includes all expressive and technical possibilities of the piano – it also shows the influences of his teachers Susan Bradshaw, a Boulez-student, and Sulamita Aronowsky, connected to the Russian piano school. Due to his past as a Chorister of the prestigious Christ Church Cathedral Choir, the pianist has been influenced in many ways: the approach to vocal music has left its mark, as well as the cooperation with singers and the study of correpetition with Roger Vignoles and Geoffrey Parsons.
Cooperating closely with major and very different contemporary composers such as John Adams and Helmut Lachenmann is an important part of Nicolas Hodges’ work. Many of them have dedicated their works to him, including Thomas Adès, George Aperghis, Gerald Barry, Harrison Birtwistle, Elliott Carter, James Clarke, Francisco Coll, Hugues Dufourt, Pascal Dusapin, Luca Francesconi, Beat Furrer, Isabel Mundry, Brice Pauset, Rolf Riehm, Wolfgang Rihm, Rebecca Saunders, Salvatore Sciarrino and Miroslav Srnka.
Recent highlights were the premiere of the award-winning piano concerto by Simon Steen-Andersen as part of the Donaueschingen Festival in 2014 with Francois-Xavier Roth and the SWR Symphony Orchestra Freiburg Baden-Baden, as well as the world premiere of Variations from the Golden Mountains (Birtwistle) in London’s Wigmore Hall. Hodges played the world premiere of Elliott Carter’s Dialogues for piano and orchestra with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the German premiere with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Daniel Barenboim. He also realised the world premiere of Thomas Adès’ Piano Concerto In Seven Days with the London Sinfonietta followed by further performances with the London Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras.
As a concerto soloist, Nicolas Hodges’ engagements include regular performances with the BBC Symphony, Boston Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, MET Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, Philharmonia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, St Louis Symphony, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, WDR Sinfonieorchester Cologne and Ensembles such as ASKO/Schoenberg Ensemble Amsterdam, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Contrechamps Geneva, International Contemporary Ensemble Chicago and the Remix Ensemble in Porto.
Among the distinguished conductors with whom Nicolas Hodges collaborates are Thomas Adès, Daniel Barenboim, George Benjamin, Martyn Brabbins, Sylvain Cambreling, James Levine, Susanna Mälkki, Cornelius Meister, Jonathan Nott, Emilio Pomarico, David Robertson, Pascal Rophé, François-Xavier Roth, Peter Rundel, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Pierre-André Valade, Ilan Volkov and Ryan Wigglesworth.
As a recitalist, he has performed in Berlin (Musikfest), Brussels (Ars Musica), Hamburg (Ostertoene), Helsinki (Musica Nova), London (Wigmore Hall and BBC Proms), Lucerne (Festival), Madrid (INAEM), Melbourne International Arts Festival, New York (Carnegie Hall and Mostly Mozart), Paris (IRCAM and Festival d’ Automne), Rom (IUC), Salzburg (Festival and Biennale), Strasbourg (Musica),Stuttgart (Eclat), Tanglewood (Festival), Tokyo, Vienna (Wien Modern) and Zurich (Tage für Neue Musik). In chamber music Nicolas collaborates regularly with the Arditti Quartet, Adrian Brendel, Colin Currie, Ilya Gringolts, Anssi Karttunen, Michael Wendeberg, Carolin Widmann and as a member of the Trio Accanto.
Highlights of the 2015/2016 season include engagements with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI and the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano at the MITO Festival in Turin and Milan, return engagements with the Joensuu City Orchestra, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna (Konzerthaus) and the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden/Freiburg (Philharmonie Luxembourg). In recitals and chamber music, Nicolas Hodges will perform at the Société Philharmonique de Bienne, at the Konzerthaus Vienna, at the SWR Festival Ars Nova and the SWR Anniversary Festival. He will perform chamber music with Carolin Widmann at the Acht Brücken Festival Cologne as well as at the Festival Movimientos Wolfsburg, and with Anssi Karttunen at the Wigmore Hall London. Future plans include invitations to the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, and a recital at the Wigmore Hall in London.
Nicolas Hodges’ discography includes Adès piano concerto In Seven Days with the London Sinfonietta and Thomas Adès (Signum Classic). Recently, a CD with works by Harrison Birtwistle as well as a live recording of Luca Francesconi’s piano concerto with the Orquestra Sinfónica Casa da Musica and the Remix Ensemble Porto were released.
Nicolas Hodges was born in London and is now based in Germany, where he is a professor at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart.