Award winning Canadian composer, conductor and producer Christopher Tyler Nickel is unique in today’s musical landscape, having made a name for himself as a successful writer of concert music as well as film and television music. Christopher’s unique musical voice is the combination of strikingly beautiful melodies, powerful orchestrations, and a careful fusion of different styles of music as well as acoustic and electronic instrumentation. 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.
In the world of film and television music, Christopher has worked on productions for clients that include the Sci-Fi Channel, Alliance Atlantis Television, YTV, Nickelodeon, Lifetime, NBC, the National Film Board of Canada, Teletoon, Cinetel, HGTV, Telefilm Canada, Animal Planet, Vision TV, TLC, the Discovery Channel, and the History Channel. 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 four Leo Award nominations in the category of Best Score – Feature Length Drama. Recently completed scores include Transparency starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Estella Warren, and Virtual Lies for Lifetime. For the past two years, Christopher has also composed music for the Vancouver Canucks’ Canuck Place PSAs featuring goalie Roberto Luongo.
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. Recent premiers include his concerto for piccolo/flute/alto flute written especially for Sarah Jackson – piccolo of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. This epic 45-minute concerto was premiered by the Sinfonia Orchestra of the North Shore under the baton of Clyde Mitchell. 2008 brought the premier of his work “Rangimarie (Tranquility)” for solo English horn and orchestra, which was premiered by the Vancouver Symphony’s English hornist, Beth Orson.
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, College Light Opera Orchestra (Massachusetts), Vancouver Youth Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Fraser Valley Symphony, North Shore Sinfonia, Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble, I Tromboni, 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.
Christopher’s arrangements and orchestrations can be heard in numerous television series, video games, concert works and musicals. In 2006, he worked with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at Paramount Studios on the award-winning score for the video game “Advent Rising” for legendary game composer Tommy Tallarico. Christopher also contributed orchestrations to the very successful “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”. He has also orchestrated for the popular television series “The Collector”, “Class of the Titans”, “Jibber Jabber”, and documentaries such as “Journey to 10,000 BC”, “Mars Rising”, “The Real Lost World”, and the Billy Zane movie “Alien Agent”. In 2008, Christopher contributed orchestrations to Tim Janis’ production of “Mother Russia” which premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York.
In the winter of 2006, Christopher traveled to the Czech Republic to record his first concert album Horizons with the acclaimed City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. Christopher has also just released his new album “Rain”, which features soprano Catherine Redding, English horn soloist Beth Orson, as well as large orchestra and choir. Christopher is also producing Catherine Redding’s upcoming debut album.