Nicholas Carthy enjoys a varied career as conductor, pianist, teacher, and public speaker. Born in Bedford, England, he studied piano and viola at the Guildhall School of Music in London, and at at the Mozarteum Salzburg. In 1998 he was appointed Kapellmeister at the Landestheater in Salzburg. During this time he was also an assistant at the SalzburgFestival, working under both Bernard Haitink and Sir Georg Solti.
From 1990 until 1993 Carthy was assistant to Daniel Barenboim, assisting and playing on the Erato recording of ‘Don Giovanni’ in Berlin, as well as for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He also assisted the production of Wozzeck at Le Châtelet, Paris, and the Ring in Bayreuth.
In June 1992, Nicholas Carthy was appointed Musical Director of the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana. Under his stewardship the orchestra received invitations to perform at the Lucerne Festival, the Concertgebouw and the Goldener Musikvereinssaal in Vienna.
He has conducted orchestras and opera productions throughout Europe and America, including the first performances of Thomas Adès ‘Powder Her Face’ in Sweden, Israel, Switzerland and Italy. A critical review in Opera magazine described the first performance in Italy as being “conducted with brilliant musicality.”
As pianist has performed in many of the great halls of the world: Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall, Wigmore Hall, Bolshoi Theatre, Kölner Philharmonie, Wiener Konzerthaus, La Scala, La Fenice, Santa Cecilia, Gewandhaus Leipzig, and the Berlin State Opera.
His work as a musical educator has taken him all over the world. Has held guest professorships and visiting tutor posts at the Opera School in Stockholm, the Portland State University Summer Programme, the Royal Northern College of Music, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He is currently Professor of Music and Opera Music Director at the University of Colorado, Musical Director of the Toppen international music course in Norway, and Artistic Director of the Helgelands Sinfonietta. He is well-known for his public lectures at the University of Colorado and beyond, and is (very) occasionally to be heard on the radio, spreading around his uncurbable enthusiasm for music and history.