Nicholas Kelly is a Penticton-based composer who draws inspiration from speculative fiction, science, and nature. He has been commended by the Vancouver Sun for his “sophisticated work of such immediate, glittery appeal” and called “a rising star in the constellation of Canadian composers” by Oregon Arts Watch.
Originally drawn to music’s storytelling power through symphonic film scores, he now brings his sense of cinematic drama to music for choirs, orchestras, and wind bands. In addition to community and school groups throughout North America, his instrumental music has been featured by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony, and the West Point (U.S. Army) band.
His choral compositions have been performed and recorded by some of Canada’s top choirs, including Chor Leoni, the Da Capo Chamber Choir, and the Chronos Vocal Ensemble. In 2017 alone, he received five national awards for choral composition, and he is also a recipient of the international Edwin Fissinger Choral Composition Prize.
Nick completed a Bachelor of Music at Ithaca College in New York and a Master of Music at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. As a graduate assistant at UBC, he taught private composition lessons to over 20 talented undergrads from diverse academic backgrounds, helping them explore the relationship between their music theory training and their individual creativity.