Nicola Hands

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About Nicola

A freelance oboist player with a variety of orchestral, chamber and solo experience, Nicola is an enthusiastic and versatile musician.
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Nicola Hands – Oboe/Oboe D’amore/Cor Anglais Nicola Hands graduated in 2013 with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music Masters programme, where she studied oboe with Melanie Ragge and cor anglais with Jill Crowther. In 2012 Nicola was awarded the Evelyn Barbirolli prize for oboe and the Grimaldi Cor Anglais Scholarship at the Royal Academy. Nicola is a busy freelance performer based in London, whose playing has been described by local reviewers in Nottingham and Cambridge as both ‘beguiling’ and ‘exquisite’, and according to MusicWeb International her ‘warm, full tone is affecting’. Nicola is currently on trial with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, was the 2nd oboe and principal cor anglais player for the Orquestra do Norte from 2015 to 2017, and has been on trial with the Philharmonia Orchestra. Nicola has also played regularly with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the Chameleon Orchestra and the Orpheus Sinfonia, amongst others. She also plays for musical theatre; from September 2013 to February 2014 she was the oboe and cor anglais player for ‘The Light Princess’ by Tori Amos at the National Theatre, and depped for ‘Miss Saigon’. As a concert soloist, Nicola has performed the Martinů Concerto, the Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto, the Mozart Oboe Concerto, the Marcello D minor Concerto and the Strauss Oboe Concerto. In 2015 she was awarded a Jellinek soloist’s award by Croydon Symphony Orchestra, and consequently performed the Albinoni D minor concerto in Guildford in 2016. Nicola also enjoys giving solo recitals, and has performed in venues such as St. Martin-in-the-Fields, St. James Piccadilly, St. Mary's Perivale, Winchester Cathedral and St. James’s Church Paddington as a soloist with pianist Jonathan Pease. The duo was selected to appear in the Making Music Selected Artists guide and was supported by the Concordia Foundation. The duo has so far released two albums to great acclaim. In 2019 she co-founded the Tailleferre Ensemble.

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This act has been working with Encore for over 8 years
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5 out of 5
3 verified reviews
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Nicola's Reviews

From Encore customers:

Omar P
6 years ago
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5 out of 5

very professional and pleasant to work with

From other customers:

Harriet F
4 years ago, for a Concert in St. Mark's Church Regent's Park
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5 out of 5

Nicola Hands shows unique talent for bringing both playfulness and depth to the music. She draws out fresh nuances, with beautiful soaring sustained lines and fluttering, elegant runs. She is thrilling to both watch and listen to, communicating with subtlety and intelligence. The clarity and grace of her tone is stunning - I have never heard the oboe sound so beautiful and so passionate.

Chris B
4 years ago, for a Concert in Regent's Park
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5 out of 5

Nicola, thanks so much for your wonderful playing, your timeliness, and your professionalism. We really enjoyed getting the chance to hear you and the event organisers were thrilled to have a musician of your quality perform for them. We’ll be in touch again soon!