Biography

With his music being heard in over 160 countries, award-winning composer Christopher Tyler Nickel has made a name for himself as a successful writer of concert music, music for theatre, as well as film and television music. The Province Newspaper called Christopher’s music “engaging and compelling…music that deserves a wide audience!” and Screensounds in the UK wrote, “to say that this is beautiful music would be an understatement”. A graduate of the University of British Columbia School of Music with a degree in composition, Christopher studied with renowned Canadian composer Stephen Chatman. Upon graduation, he continued his studies in both New York and Los Angeles.

 

Christopher is the author of numerous concert works, which have been performed by orchestras and chamber ensembles in Canada, the United States, and Europe. In 2002, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic performed his “Fanfare for Freedom” for an audience of 40,000.  This performance was also broadcast live on the U.S. east coast for their July 4th celebrations. Another highlight was the Vancouver Symphony’s performance of that same work for an audience of 9,000 at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby.  Other works include a concerto for piccolo/flute/alto flute written especially for Sarah Jackson (piccolo of the Los Angeles Philharmonic), Tranquility for solo English horn and orchestra, which was premiered by the Vancouver Symphony’s English hornist, Beth Orson, and in 2015 the premiere of his Oboe Concerto written especially for Roger Cole, principal oboe of the Vancouver Symphony. Other major works include a Requiem for full orchestra, choir, and solo soprano; a concerto for solo oboe d’amore, and a Te Deum for choir and chamber orchestra.

 

Other ensembles having performed Christopher’s works include the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Champagne-Urbana Symphony (Illinois), Grand Rapids Symphony (Michigan), Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, The Sammamish Symphony, Kamloops Symphony, The Black Hills Symphony, Carolina Philharmonic, DuPage Symphony, College Light Opera Orchestra (Massachusetts), Vancouver Youth Symphony, Vancouver Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony, Fraser Valley Symphony, North Shore Sinfonia, Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble, I Tromboni, Festival Wind Orchestra, West Coast Symphony, as well as many other university, youth and semi-professional and professional orchestras and concert bands. Christopher has also had the honour of working with members of the New York Philharmonic. In both 2002 and 2003, Christopher composed music for the very popular “Bard on the Beach” Shakespeare Festival Concerts in Vancouver, working with renowned actor/director Christopher Gaze.

 

In the world of film and television music, Christopher has composed music for hundreds of hours of film and television productions for clients that include the Discovery Channel, Corus Entertainment, SyFy Channel, Hallmark, Alliance Atlantis Television, YTV, Lifetime, NBC, the National Film Board of Canada, National Geographic, Teletoon, Cinetel, HGTV, Telefilm Canada, W-Network, Animal Planet, TLC, and the History Channel. His scores include music for Highway thru Hell, which premiered as the highest rated show on the Discovery networks… ever. Other series work includes the critically acclaimed Airshow for Discovery, Game of Homes for W Network, and  Untold Stories of the ER for TLC which is in its eleventh season.

 

 

His awards include the 2004 Gold Metal for Best Action Score at the Park City Film Music Festival, the 2002 Golden Key International Performing Arts Award for Musical Composition, two 2009 JPF awards for “Best Contemporary Classical Album” as well as “Best Contemporary Classical Song”, and eight Leo Award nominations. Recently completed scores include Transparency (starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Estella Warren), The Christmas Consultant (starring David Hasselhoff and Caroline Rhea),  All of my Heart (starring Lacey Chabert, Brennan Elliot, and Ed Asner),  Love in Paradise (starring Luke Perry), and Anything for Love (starring Erika Christensen) for Hallmark.

 

Christopher’s arrangements and orchestrations can be heard in numerous television series, video games, concert works and musicals. He has worked with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at Paramount Studios, Tommy Tallarico, the “Video Games Live” touring event (which has now played to over 100,000 people worldwide). Christopher’s orchestrations can also be heard in the feature films “Age of Heroes” (starring Sean Bean), and the critically acclaimed “A Lonely Place to Die” and “Treasure Guards”. Christopher contributed orchestrations to Tim Janis’ production of “Mother Russia” which premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York, as well as arrangements for international stars Hayley Westenra, and Loreena McKennitt as part of Tim Janis’ American Christmas Carol at Carnegie Hall.

 

Christopher’s albums include Horizons recorded with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, Rain, which features soprano Catherine Redding, English horn soloist Beth Orson, as well as large orchestra and choir. Christopher also produced Catherine Redding’s debut album Lullaby.