Nicholas Shaw, Accompanist
Nicholas Shaw has been the accompanist to the Reading Bach Choir since 2006, having previously been associated with the choir as both a pianist and conductor.
He trained as an organist and choral director at Oxford, as Organ Scholar of Magdalen College, and then at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he was a scholarship and prizewinning student of Patrick Russill on the choral conducting course. He worked at Westminster Cathedral and the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace before being appointed Organist and Choirmaster to the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in 2004. In 2009, Nicholas completed the project to install a new three manual organ by Kenneth Tickell in the Chapel of Lincoln’s Inn, which has been described as ‘an important new instrument for London’. He has performed as a soloist and accompanist throughout the UK and Europe, as well as in the USA and Japan, and has broadcast for all the major radio and television stations in the UK, including the opening recital on the restored organ of Buckingham Palace live on BBC radio 3.
Most of Nicholas’s time is spent as director of one of the UK’s largest and most successful youth choir schemes, Cantate. Nicholas has been involved with the choir since 2003 as Assistant Music Director and Principal Accompanist, and has appeared with Cantate at concerts and competition successes both in the UK and abroad both as pianist and conductor. His abilities as an accompanist in a huge range of styles have seen him perform in venues as diverse as football stadiums and market squares, churches and concert halls, and he was part of the team that won the UK’s only gold medal in the 2008 World Choir Games in Austria. Since his appointment as Music Director in 2010, Cantate has continued to enjoy national recognition and success and remains one of the most vibrant and exciting bases for young people to enjoy music making, whatever their ability or background.
Nicholas also directs the choirs of the Junior Department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and teaches choral conducting to some of Cambridge University’s organ scholars. He was recently elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of his distinguished work as both a conductor and organist.