M.Mus. - Composition
University of British Columbia
B.M. - Composition
Nicholas Ryan Kelly is a composer of contemporary classical music, but don’t let that scare you away. Inspired by everything from movie scores to punk rock, he writes lyrical, emotionally honest music for choirs, concert bands, and chamber groups throughout North America. He was called “a rising star in the constellation of Canadian composers” by Oregon Arts Watch and commended by the Vancouver Sun for his “sophisticated work of such immediate, glittery appeal.”
His choral music has been performed by many of Canada’s top choirs--including Pro Coro Canada, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the DaCapo Chamber Choir, Chor Leoni, and many others. Since 2016, he has received over a dozen national and international awards for choral and wind ensemble composition, including the Edwin Fissinger Choral Composition Prize and the Canadian Band Association Howard Cable Composition Prize. His music is included on CD releases by the Elektra Women’s Choir, the Phoenix Chamber Choir, the Chronos Vocal Ensemble, and others.
Recently, he has been focusing on music for amateur ensembles and choral music with raw, emotionally direct texts--and strongly believes these two things aren’t mutually exclusive. As of autumn, 2021, he is at work on commissions for choirs in three Canadian provinces and is patiently awaiting the rescheduled premieres of an additional eight prizewinning or commissioned pieces -- including his Carnegie Hall debut.
A graduate of the music composition programs at Ithaca College (New York) and the University of British Columbia (Vancouver), Nick lives in rural British Columbia, where he is involved in many small-town musical activities as a composer, conductor, educator, and enthusiastic audience member.