Alasdair Nicolson


One of Scotland's finest talents of the younger generation. THE SCOTSMAN


 Nicolson is not only a maker, but also a shaker. His creating of festivals, his performing, his work in the theatre and his projects enlivening others interest in music are carried out with boundless enthusiasm and tireless energy and a good deal of natural charisma.   He is one of the new breed of artists whose world of influence and interest is wide and ever growing. THE SUNDAY TIMES


Nicolson's score matches the fragmented virtuosity of the libretto. One short scene folds into the next with ease; the composer, featured at this year's Covent Garden Festival, writes with theatrical flair and with vitality.  THE TIMES outsider whose music is exuberant, eclectic, and witty. NEW YORK TIMES


An exciting and brutal take on Harry Warren's 42nd Street. NEW YORK TIMES


The music is shivery, wraithlike, suggestive of forms coalescing and fading. THE GUARDIAN 


Lovely ideas and beautiful texturing and colouring; a riot of a piece. THE FINANCIAL TIMES


Punch! - a driving knockabout piece tinged with the black edge of violence. THE HERALD


 Nicolson is a composer who is uniquely qualified to deal with these theatrical challenges and has a distinguished pedigree as a writer of music for theatre. THE SUNDAY TIMES


Nicolson creates a unique soundworld which, whilst beautiful and still, has a power to disturb. THE SCOTSMAN


Alasdair Nicolson has produced a score full of muscular, fibrous, Scottish rhythms. Appropriately meaty, tensile music for some of the most amazing action photography that you will ever see. THE HERALD


Alasdair's score is dark and ironic, themes floating through it like a mist: the first quiet, anticipatory thunder of it raised the hairs on the back of my neck. THE TIMES


 Nicolson's score is beautifully crafted and written with masterly fluency for the singers. Nicolson's ability to weave and colour is remarkable. THE SCOTSMAN


Alasdair Nicolson has composed a set of piano pieces that fall like shards of glass on the ears, but create the appropriate soundscape to conjure up man's elemental struggle with the sea. SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY


As good as the music may be, it is gloriously enhanced by the opulent orchestration Nicolson has lavished on it. It is completely winning, from the glittering sonorities of the ice music to the sumptuous carpet of sound he creates for the love themes. The orchestral performance, conducted with real style and flair by the composer himself, highlighted the sheer beauty of the orchestration. THE HERALD


Aside from Fischer, this concert unveiled another, less likely, star - the Scottish composer Alasdair Nicolson. His BBC commission The Broken Symphony, broken in two, launched each half of the concert. The BBC tried this splitting trick earlier this season with Simon Bainbridge; it didn't work. Nicolson survived by weaving his threads tightly, cycling through a stream of laments - some Celtic moans, one from Ancient Persia - with puncturing accompaniments of mounting speed and complexity.


The Iraq War, among other world horrors, was in his mind, Nicolson told us: a broken symphony for a broken world. Not all of that impulse came through: with those busy textures and the electric playing, much of the two ten-minute movements fizzed like a brilliant concerto for orchestra. Yet the keening note always returned; at the end we were definitely adrift in desolation. A most stimulating piece, which deserves a future. THE TIMES


Alasdair Nicolson's original score - a superb slice of contemporary music, designed to excite and challenge in equal measure. THE SCOTSMAN


Alasdair Nicolson's score is gorgeous, alternately classical and Celtic, lyrical and playful. THE SCOTSMAN


The final piece, The Twittering Machine by Alasdair Nicolson, showed why his music has won so much critical acclaim. A magical moment to round off a magical half hour. ONLINE EIF Reviews