New York-based performer/ composer David Allen Nichols is a uniquely versatile aritst whose reputation as an improvisational pianist has led to an array of collaborative works for dance, film, theater and television. His projects have included American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem and Twyla Tharp, as well as jazz at Manhattan’s “Eighty-Eights.” His music was featured in the soundtrack of Corsair Pictures "Miss Firecracker” (1989) in which he performs for actress Holly Hunter's dance routines, and in a 1995 CBS "Eye on America” documentary with choreographer Eliot Feld. His music was also heard in the 2009 documentary film “Dancing Across Borders.”
New York’s “Creations Magazine” describes Mr. Nichols’ playing as “powerful” and “soul searching.” “He beckons you enter within,” reports the magazine, describing his performance of the chant-inspired “Evidence.” His “masterful piano artistry leads the listener to a place deep within,” writes “Metaphysical Reviews.” Mr. Nichols' ambient music CD productions for Burning Water Rebellion label have been featured on nationally syndicated NPR and PRI radio programs “Hearts of Space” and “Echoes,” and have been heard on Radio Italy, Pacifica Radio Network, and PBS Television.
Born in Nashville Tennessee, Mr. Nichols was trained as a classical pianist and received his Bachelor of Music degree from University of Texas at Austin, where he later pursued graduate studies in both piano performance and composition. He has lectured on topics of musical analysis including Messiaen's modes of limited transposition and tonal symmetry in the late works of Franz Liszt. Since 2002, he has been Music Director of the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Ballet and Pianist for the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase College. An artist/ composer member of BMI, his compositions and recordings are distributed in 37 countries throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas.
In addition to performing and composing, Mr. Nichols is a passionate and dedicated teacher, recognized for his creative approach to private instruction and his innovative master classes for students of all ages and levels. His popular “Fierce Fingers” piano intensive offers a pathway to the achievement of technical proficiency, guiding young students to the enjoyment of disciplined technical work in a fun and encouraging setting. Mr. Nichols maintains a private teaching studio in Bronxville, New York.