Paisley Sinfonia
Abercorn St, Paisley PA3 4AB

Nicholas Wilks took up his post as Musical Director of the Paisley Sinfonia in September 2023, having recently moved to North Ayrshire from Hampshire. He studied conducting as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music before holding a number of musical directorships, including the Winchester Symphony Orchestra (a tenure which included a complete cycle of the Brahms symphonies and concertos), Winchester Music Club (including premiers of new works by Francis Pott and William Cole as well as performances of the Britten War Requiem and the major oratorios of Elgar), the North Herts Guild of Singers, Haringey Young Musicians, the Finchley Children's Music Group, New Youth Opera, the Petersfield Musical Festival, the Channel Islands Youth Orchestra and the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra (with whom he led the first tour of post-apartheid South Africa by a British youth orchestra in 1998).

Performances have included conducting the premiere of Alec Roth's "Earth and Sky" at the BBC Proms, the Brahms Requiem with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and Mendelssohn's "Elijah" with Bryn Terfel, as well as a recording of Britten's "Noye's Fludde" and "A Ceremony of Carols" for Somm. As Musical Director at Winchester College, he developed the College's outreach programme with such initiatives as a project in care homes for music and dementia, and community choral concerts with local schools and choirs in partnership with Hampshire Music Service. Nicholas has worked extensively with a number of distinguished soloists, including Alison Balsom, Joanna MacGregor, Roderick Williams, Claire Rutter, Emma Kirkby, Peter Harvey, Joo Yeon Sir, Rosalind Ventris and David Campbell. As Musical Director of the Finchley Children's Music Group Nicholas made a recording of "A Singing of Angels" by Charles Davidson for Naxos's Milken Archive of Jewish American music, and worked as chorus master for conductors including Sir Colin Davis (the premiere of Piers Hellawell's "Do Not Disturb" with the London Symphony Orchestra), Neeme Järvi (Nielsen's "Springtime on Funen" for the BBC Proms) and André Previn (Britten's "Spring Symphony").

Nicholas was appointed Musical Director of the Thomas Coats Memorial Choral Society in January this year, and has recently been appointed Musical Director of the Greenock Philharmonic Choir and the Paisley Sinfonia. Recent concerts have included Handel's Belshazzar in Paisley Abbey, guest conducting the Glasgow Chamber Choir in Glasgow and Edinburgh in June, and Mozart's Solemn Vespers with the Thomas Coats Memorial Choral Society at Paisley Abbey last March. Future concerts include Mozart's Requiem in the completion by Duncan Druce with the Greenock Philharmonic Choir, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 with the Paisley Sinfonia, and Borodin's Second Symphony with Glasgow Orchestral Society in May, with an invitation to conduct the orchestra in Brahms's Symphony No.3 in May 2025. Nicholas sings with the Glasgow Chamber Choir, and works as a volunteer with Sistema Scotland (the Big Noise in Govanhill) and with the Cumnock Tryst. His most bizarre conducting experience to date has been conducting Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, John Williams and David Bedford in a performance of Malcolm Arnold's Toy Symphony.

Nicholas Wilks
Nicholas Wilks
Musical Director of the Paisley Sinfonia

Interested in joining?
Paisley Sinfonia is always pleased to welcome new members.

Our current membership is approximately 55 and is made up of musicians of all ages and abilities who simply enjoy making music together.
Photo by Lesley Arneil