Nicola Robinson’s music journey began as a Year Six student, when the horn was the last instrument remaining on the shelf. She and the horn clicked, and in 2023, 13 years later, Nicola commenced her third year of training at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), studying with Carla Blackwood.
Brisbane-born and raised, Nicola graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (QCGU) in 2020, where she studied under the tutelage of Peter Luff, Ysolt Clark and Malcolm Stewart. Nicola was a member of the Griffith Honours College. Upon commencement of her studies in 2017, she was awarded a Sir Samuel Griffith Scholarship. As a soloist, Nicola performed the first movement of Haydn’s First Horn Concerto with the QCGU Symphony Orchestra, in December 2020.
Nicola relishes her time playing in orchestras, and regularly freelances across Australia. She is a casual musician with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Pops Orchestra, Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra Victoria.
As a mentee with EnsembleQ, Nicola has performed twice with the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School under conductors Simone Young and Ward Stare. She has also been invited on two occasions to be a guest broadcaster on Brisbane’s 4MBS Classic FM radio station. Nicola loves exploring less frequently performed works for the horn, and has a keen interest in performing works by Australian and female composers. She has enjoyed being exposed to the horn in all its historical contexts, and has loved learning baroque and natural horn with Carla Blackwood.
Nicola has a strong interest in curating accessible and diverse programs, relishing opportunities to do this at ANAM. Highlights include; curating a recital of all-Australian living composers for the National Gallery of Victoria’s “Who Are You: Australian Portraiture” exhibition, and; programming her second-year recital, for which she won the ADFAS Yarra Prize for the Most Outstanding Program in an ANAM Recital (2022).
As well as performing, Nicola thoroughly enjoys teaching. Prior to her move to Melbourne, she held horn teaching positions at Brisbane’s St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School, and All Saints Anglican School on the Gold Coast.
Outside of playing the horn, Nicola enjoys reading, writing and arranging music, cooking and eating good food. She is also a keen cyclist and enjoys exploring Melbourne on her pushbike – mostly to find good food!
FROM: Brisbane, QLD. Lands of the Jagera/Turrbal peoples.
Nicola’s training at ANAM is supported by ANAM Syndicate donors Arnis Dzedins, Merilyn and David Howorth, Elise Callander, Lee Palmer, Anna and Mark Yates
Photo by Pia Johnson.