Described as “a composer worth studying” (Ernst Schneider, BCRMTA), Nicholas Fairbank’s music has been praised as “melodic and attractive, as well as skillfully constructed … carefully crafted, … consistently elegant, and devoted to beauty as a vehicle for text.” (Christopher Dawes, Organ Canada). His music has received performances across North America and in Europe by such groups as the Turning Point Ensemble, Ensemble Laude, Hexaphone, Vox Humana, organists Patrick Wedd, Martin Stacey and Valerie Hall, sopranos Catherine Fern Lewis, Elizabeth MacIsaac and Kerry-Anne Kutz, pianist Richard Raymond and the Quatuor Molinari. Recent commissions have come from Victoria’s Ensemble Laude, Via Choralis chamber choir, Viva Youth Voices, the Unitarian Church, Christ Church Cathedral (Victoria), the High Notes Flute Choir, and Sing The North Virtual Choir.
Nicholas Fairbank was born and raised on Canada’s west coast, and now lives and works in Victoria, BC. He divides his time between his various musical activities as composer, collaborative pianist, harpsichordist and organist, conductor, adjudicator, clinician and teacher.
After early studies in Vancouver, he pursued advanced musical training in London, England and Paris, France, studying organ with Christopher Herrick, Richard Popplewell and Naji Hakim. He earned Master’s degrees from the Université de Paris (Musicology & French literature), the University of California at Santa Barbara (French language and pedagogy), and the University of Victoria (Composition), as well as Associateship diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of Music (gold medal winner for pipe organ, 1981), and the Royal Canadian College of Organists (Willan and Barker prizes 1998). His composition teachers have included Stephen Chatman and John Celona. He is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre and a member of SOCAN.
Mr. Fairbank is currently Chorus Master of the Sooke Philharmonic Society and Music Director at First Unitarian Church of Victoria. For twenty years he was also Instructor of Organ, Harpsichord and Advanced Theory at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He is a past member of the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, and a past National President of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. As an organ recitalist he has performed across Canada, in Europe, and in Mexico.
His catalogue of compositions includes almost 100 works for voice, piano and organ solo, and for various choral and instrumental ensembles. Some works are published by CNCM Publications, Cypress Publishing, and the RCCO, while others are available through the Canadian Music Centre or directly from the composer.