Nicholas Swensen


Nicholas Algot Swensen (b. 1999) is a Danish violist and conductor. Having finished his master’s studies in viola at The Juilliard School he is now continuing to nurture his multifaceted musical interests in both conducting, singing and piano while traveling mostly as a chamber musician/recitalist.

At the time this biography is written, Nicholas is still not sure whether he will, next year, be studying a degree in conducting or continue the life of full-time viola playing at the Kronberg Academy in Germany. You are welcome to ask him what he has decided, if he has succeeded in making one at all - he is however also keeping options of pursuing gardening, farming, or perhaps even hosting a bed and breakfast on a nice mountain, open, so it is suggested to ask him without too many expectations.

He has won a number of prizes, including Danish awards from P2, Wilhelm Hansen foundation, Carl Nielsen foundation, Leonie Sonning and more, as well as top placements in competitions including Juilliard Concerto Competition, Primrose International Viola Competition (in LA), Nedbal International Viola Competition (Prague), Øresunds Solist and Berlingske competitions in Denmark. His experience as a viola-soloist with orchestra includes the Walton viola concerto with Sir Antonio Pappano and the Juilliard Orchestra, the same concerto with Odense Symphony Orchestra and the Bartók Viola Concerto with the Colburn Orchestra.

He previously studied viola in Lübeck with Barbara Westphal, Copenhagen with Lars Anders Tomter and most recently New York with Heidi Castleman. He has performed chamber music with for example Andras Schiff, Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Danish String Quartet, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, Trio con Brio and others.

Nicholas is looking forward to embarking on a collaboration with Nordic Artist Management which begins this summer. Nicholas plays a viola by brothers Amati from 1616 kindly loaned to him by Anders Sveaas Almennyttige Fond.