Faculty & Staff Profiles

Nicholas Walker

Professor of Music
Nicholas Walker smiling with double bass in the background

Nicholas Walker is a Professor of Music, a Fulbright Scholar, and a Past-President of the International Society of Bassists. He is an accomplished performer who brings a broad range of training and experience to the double bass: American social music, European concert music, modern and baroque, solo, chamber, and large ensemble collaborations. His enthusiasm and aptitude transcend arbitrary musical boundaries, and his exuberant and versatile performances have made him a sought-after performer in many styles. 

Professor Walker has diplomas from Rice University, the Nadia Boulanger Conservatoire de Paris, and Stony Brook University, where he earned his Doctorate in early music in 2004. Before joining the faculty at SMTD, Walker taught at Ithaca College for 17 years. He has given master classes and performances at music centers and conservatories in the US and Canada, in Seoul, Amsterdam, the Hague, Oslo, Hanover, Leipzig, Rostock, Adelaide, St. Petersburg, Dublin, Belfast, and Beijing.

In the 90’s Mr. Walker worked as a freelance musician and band leader in NYC, where he played with and learned from many Jazz and Afro-Cuban master musicians including Illinois Jacquet, Hank Jones, and Juan Pablo Torres. He has since been featured on two dozen CDs, and has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today. Walker has freelanced with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, National Arts Center Orchestra of Canada, Handel & Haydn Society Orchestra, St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, Phoenix Chamber Orchestra, Lake Tahoe Music Festival, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and The Knights Chamber Orchestra NYC, and premiered new music with Ensemble X and Ardesco. In addition, he is an inventive prize-winning composer who features the bass in solo, chamber music, and improvisational contexts.

Professor Walker‘s passion for educating students in the art and practice of music is fueled by the conviction that music can elevate the human condition and build meaningful bridges between individuals and groups of people—as music ignites the empathy sectors in the brain, which in turn release oxytocin, building intimacy, and leading us all to compassion, morality, and love.

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