Nicholas Hersh continues to earn acclaim for his innovative programming and a natural ability to connect with musicians and audiences alike. As Associate Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas has expanded the reach of orchestral music in the mid-Atlantic region—most notably through BSO Pulse, a concert series of his own conception that brings together indie bands and orchestral musicians in unique collaborations.
Nicholas conducts the BSO in a set of subscription concerts each season, often utilizing the unique Off the Cuff format to familiarize new concertgoers with the orchestral repertoire. Nicholas appears regularly with the National Symphony Orchestra in concerts throughout Washington, D.C.. He stepped in to replace an indisposed Yan Pascal Tortelier, on subscription, to great acclaim, and he will accompany them on tour to Asia in March 2020. Other guest conducting appearances include the Houston Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, and New World Symphony. Debuts in the 2019-20 season include the Atlanta Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Sarasota Orchestra, and Virginia Symphony.
An avid educator, Nicholas serves as the Artistic Director of the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras and he directs the BSO’s educational and family programming, including the celebrated Academy for adult amateur musicians. He is a frequent collaborator and guest faculty at the Peabody Conservatory as well as the BSO’s OrchKids program for Baltimore City schoolchildren.
Nicholas grew up in Evanston, Illinois and started his musical training as a cellist. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Stanford University and a Master’s Degree in Conducting from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying with David Effron and Arthur Fagen. In 2011 and 2012, he was a Conducting Fellow with the prestigious American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, studying with mentors Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff, and Larry Rachleff, and has participated in masterclasses with Bernard Haitink and Michael Tilson Thomas. Nicholas is also a two-time recipient of the Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award.
Nicholas is frequently in demand as an arranger and orchestrator, taking on anything from classical solo and chamber music to popular songs—adapting them for orchestra in an idiosyncratic, playable style. His symphonic arrangement of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” continues to see worldwide success as a viral YouTube hit, and has had his work performed by orchestras around the globe.
Nicholas lives in Baltimore with his wife Caitlin and their two cats, and in his free time enjoys baking (and eating) sourdough bread.