Hans Nickel was born in the Netherlands in 1958 and was appointed solo tuba with the WDR Symphony Orchestra (West German Broadcasting Corporation) based in Cologne, Germany, in 1986. He was appointed Head of Tuba Studies at the Musikhochschule in Cologne in 1987 and in 1998 additionally at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold, where he was named Professor for Tuba, Euphonium and Brass Chamber Music in 2004. In 1999 he was simultaniously appointed Senior Lecturer for Tuba/Euphonium at the Hoogeschool Zuyd (Conservatoire)in Maastricht (Netherlands) and in 2006 Head of Tuba Studies at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf incorporating the responsibility for the low brass of the Deutsche Bundeswehr (Ausbildungsmusikkorps der Bundeswehr). Nickel now teaches permanently in Maastricht and Düsseldorf.
Hans Nickel is particularly popular with ERASMUS students from Europe and students from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and always has a very international class. Many of his former students are now holding positions in orchestras worldwide, whilst others are teaching at prestigious institutes.
As an orchestral guest, Nickel has appeared with most European top orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle. However his other tasks no longer allow this to happen very often nowadays.
Brass Bands were a long-time hobby for Nickel and he was a member of the Dutch Championship Brass Band Limburg for several years, winning a host of soloist prizes with them, including the European Soloist of the Year in both Rotterdam and Cardiff.
Hans Nickel frequently gives Master Classes and show-case recitals around the world, including Japan (University of Fine Arts, Tokio), Korea(Seoul), China and Russia. Nearer home he was a regular guest in Italy(Montepulciano), France (Paris and Avignon)and other European cities. In the autumn of 2017 he gave his first Master Class in Amsterdam on the invitation of his former student and now solo-tuba in the Concertgebouw, Perry Hoogendijk. In a similar relationship he returned to Seoul in May 2018 to hold a Master Class together with a former student, and will return to China in August 2018 for the third time in 10 months for a week of Master Classes and to give a recital at the 1st Wuhan International Tuba Euphonium Summer Camp.
Hans Nickel performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician, particularly active in the field of contemporary music having premiered many new works for tuba including: Jan Van der Roost (Obsessions and canTUBAllada, Riva del Garda, Italy, 1997 ITEC), Karlheinz Stockhausen (In Freundschaft 1996), Jan Bedrich (Dialogy per Tuba, Piano e Baterie) and Edward Gregson (USA prmiere Alarum, Chicago 1995 ITEC), Hamers (Chameleon, Cardiff), Harrap (Klee-Blatt, Klee Ausstellung, Kunstsammlung NRW and Sonate für Tuba, Harfe und Schlagzeug, WDR Funkhaus Cologne) and Adler-McKean (Engführung,WDR Funkhaus Cologne). As a chamber musician he has appeared all over the world, including performing at the Huddersfield Contemporary Festival, Holland Festival, Landgraaf Poezie Festival and the Wittener Tagen für Neue Kammermusik, with groups as highly regarded as Belgian Brass Soloists, Ensemble Modern(Frankfurt), Asko Ensemble (Amsterdam), Music Fabrik (Cologne), HR Brass (HR Frankfurt),the Blechbläserensemble der Berliner Philharmoniker (Berlin) and many others.
He has performed the Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto together with the WDR Sinfonieorchester, the Slowak Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Noord Hollands Philharmonisches Orkest, the Staatsorchester
Braunschweig and the Philharmonischen Orchester Hagen. In 2014 he performed the John Williams Konzert für Tuba und Orchester together with the WDR Sinfonie Orchester in the Kölner Philharmonie. This
van be enjoyed on youtube.com/watch?v=GyiDwtve-LY and has to date attracted over 85.000 viewers...
In the autumn of 2008 he formed together with colleagues from WDR the brass quintet "Brass Consort Köln" (www.brass-consort-koeln.de) which enjoyed a very successful first performance in Lemgo at the XXVII Lemgoer Internationalen Orgeltage 2008. Since then the quintet has created an educational project for schools around Germany, has appeared on children's television and radio, and taken part in many festivals such as the Aachener bachtagen. In 2018 - their tenth anniversary year - they will be performing several special concerts around Germany.
Nickel has a multitude of recordings to his name encompassing the R.Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto with both the WDR Symphony Orchestra and the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (canTUBAllada), Tuba Obsessions (Tuba Solo), Orchester Finalisten (Asko Ensemble), Nessun Dorma (Belgian Brass Soloists), Jazzpana- Grammy winner- (Vince Mendoza and the WDR Big Band), aus dem leopardizyklus(Ospald) and new in 2018 a Bernstein CD together with Wayne Marshall to be released in November. canTUBAllada was titled 'essential listening' by the London Sunday Times. Visitors to the German cinema film "Der Führer" will recognize the unique sound of Hans Nickel on the film sound track.
What does 2018/2019 hold in store? : more concerts both as a chamber musician and a soloist, more recordings, and a multitude of Master Classes. Watch this space!