The Piano Concerto by Gyorgy Ligeti, played with astonishing virtuosity, and brilliant digital and rhythmic adroitness by Nicolas Hodges …” (The Sydney Morning Herald)
An active repertoire that encompasses such composers as Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Debussy, Schubert and Stravinsky reinforces pianist Nicolas Hodges’ special prowess in contemporary music. As Tempo magazine has written: “Hodges is a refreshing artist; he plays the classics as if they were written yesterday, and what was written yesterday as if it were already a classic.”
Born in London and now based in Germany, where he is a professor at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart, Hodges approaches the works of Classical, Romantic, 20th century and contemporary composers with the same questing spirit, leading the Guardian to comment that: “Hodges' recitals always boldly go where few other pianists dare ... with an energy that sometimes defies belief.”
As a concerto soloist, Nicolas Hodges past and imminent engagements include performances with US orchestras such as the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, MET Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, St Louis Symphony, and with European orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker, BBC Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, London Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, ÖRF Radio Symphony Vienna, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxemburg, Philharmonia, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden Freiburg, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln and ensembles such as ASKO/Schoenberg Ensemble Amsterdam, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Contrechamps Geneva, International Contemporary Ensemble Chicago and the Remix Ensemble in Porto. Among the distinguished conductors with whom Nicolas Hodges has collaborated are Thomas Adès, Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, George Benjamin, Martyn Brabbins, Hans Graf, James Levine, Susanna Mälkki, Jonathan Nott, Tadaaki Otaka, Emilio Pomarico, David Robertson, Pascal Rophé, Peter Rundel, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Leonard Slatkin, Pierre-André Valade, Ilan Volkov and Ryan Wigglesworth.
In recent seasons, Hodges has become especially closely associated with the piano concertos of Elliott Carter (in 2004), Beat Furrer and Thomas Adès, with Hodges giving the premiere of the British Composer’s In Seven Days in London in April 2008. Other recent premieres include concerti written especially for Hodges by Georges Aperghis, Gerald Barry, Harrison Birtwistle, Francisco Coll, Hugues Dufourt, Pascal Dusapin, Luca Francesconi, Beat Furrer, Isabel Mundry, Brice Pauset, Rolf Riehm, Wolfgang Rihm, Rebecca Saunders, Salvatore Sciarrino and Miroslav Srnka.
As a recitalist, he has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall (New York), IRCAM (Paris), Wigmore Hall (London) and his festival appearances have included the BBC Proms, Berlin (Musikfest), Brussels (Ars Musica), Cologne (Acht Brücken), Hamburg (Ostertoene), Lucerne Festival, Madrid (INAEM), Melbourne International Arts Festival, New York (Mostly Mozart), Paris (Festival d’ Automne), Salzburg (Festival and Biennale), Strasbourg (Musica), Stuttgart (Eclat), Tanglewood, Tokyo, Vienna (Wien Modern) and Zurich (Tage für Neue Musik). In chamber music Nicolas collaborates regularly with the Arditti Quartet, Adrian Brendel, Colin Currie, Ilya Gringolts, Anssi Karttunen and as a member of the Trio Accanto.
Highlights of the season 2014/2015 are the world premiere of Variations from the Golden Mountains (Birtwistle) at Wigmore Hall London, of an SWR commissioned work by Simon Steen-Andersen with Francois Xavier Roth and the SWR Sinfonieorchester Freiburg Baden-Baden as well as a world premiere of Ivo Nilsson with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. In the current season, Nicolas Hodges will give his debut at Staatsorchester Stuttgart with Sylvain Cambreling (Carter) and at Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Jukka-Pekka Saraste (Lindberg).
Recitals and chamber music concerts will bring Nicolas Hodges to the Melbourne Recital Centre, Musikfest Berlin, Istituzione Universitaria dei Concerti (IUC) Rome, Tonhalle Zurich as well as Musica Nova Festival Helsinki (Uusinta Ensemble) and Kölner Philharmonie (Michael Wendberg). Future plans include return engagements to London Philharmonic, Acht Brücken Festival Köln and once more to London Wigmore Hall.
Nicolas Hodges’ discography includes solo and concertante works by Adams, Adès, Birtwistle, Carter, Finnissy, Ferneyhough, Furrer and Rolf Riehm. Future CD releases include discs of Brian Ferneyhough on Neos, Walter Zimmermann on Mode and Harrison Birtwistle on Metronome.