Cellist Robert Nicholson has been invited to perform and teach around the U.S. and across the globe. As a founding member of the Halo Ensemble, he has performed in Hungary at the Crescendo Summer Institute, in Finland at the Uskon Yo and Helsinki Festivals, where the ensemble gave the world premiere of its commission Three Songs for Chamber Ensemble by Geoff Knorr, in Bangkok, Thailand, and around the U.S. As founding cellist of the Mauthe String Quartet, which formed for the express purpose of engaging and enriching unreached areas of the Cleveland community, Robert performed staples of the repertoire and brand new works in established recital series and schools, churches, and community centers alike.
In the summers, Robert has been Artist-Faculty at the UNC Chapel Hill Chamber Music Workshop and Introductory Chamber Music Program, and has spent many summers at the MasterWorks Festival in Indiana, holding since 2008 an orchestral assistant fellowship. Robert was a founding member of the Langlois Quartet, which formed at MasterWorks and was invited to attend and perform at Recreatio, a weeklong arts summit in Winchester, England, and the Crescendo Summer Institute. In 2012, he joined the faculty of the CODA Mountain Academy in West Virginia.
When not engaged in itinerant summer projects, Robert makes his home in Cleveland, OH, where he teaches privately and coaches in public schools, and is on faculty at the Cleveland Music School Settlement. In frequent demand by orchestras across the region, Robert is a member of the Erie Philharmonic (Erie, PA), and performs with such orchestras as the Akron, Ashland, Mansfield, Ohio Valley, and River Cities Symphonies, and can be heard as principal cello on the Ohio Philharmonic’s 2012 recording of Greig’s Holberg Suite and Piano Concerto, and Ravel’s Tombeau de Couperin.
Whether as a soloist, chamber musician, or part of an orchestra, the music of our time is integral to Robert’s performing life. He has enjoyed exploring it at every stage, from collaborating with composers as they write to premiering new works at Carnegie Hall. This enthusiasm has recently taken a fittingly unprecedented turn in his work as part of Time Canvas, a group of four musicians who perform chamber improvisation in a variety of styles.
Robert grew up near Tampa, FL, where he studied with Florida Orchestra Assistant Principal Lowell Adams. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Peabody Conservatory and a Master’s from the Orchestral Performance Program at Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with former New York Philharmonic Associate Principal Alan Stepansky. He has performed for and studied with such luminaries as Robert Mann, Pamela Frank, Roger Tapping, and members of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the American, Brentano, Mendelssohn, Vermeer Quartets, and the Peabody Trio.
Robert plays a cello made in 1995 by Chicago maker Gary Garavaglia.