Nicholas Wilks served as Master of Music at Winchester College from 2004 until his appointment as Second Master in 2015. He has been Musical Director of the Winchester Symphony Orchestra since 2006.
After studying conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, where his studies were made possible through a generous grant from the Drapers’ Company, he conducted a number of orchestras and choirs in London before serving as Musical Director of the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra from 1996 to 2004. He conducted a wide range of repertoire with HCYO, including Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in Prague, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Santiago, Chile, and Mahler’s Second Symphony in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Nicholas’s choral repertoire is also extensive, with recent performances including Mendelssohn's Elijah with Bryn Terfel, Elgar’s The Apostles and The Kingdom, Dvorák’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s The Seasons, Handel’s Messiah with Emma Kirkby and Peter Harvey, the Brahms German Requiem with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and the requiems of Mozart, Verdi, Fauré, and Duruflé. His opera credits include Eugene Onegin, Noye’s Fludde, Der Freischütz, La Belle Hélène and The Bartered Bride.
Nicholas conducted the premiere of Alec Roth’s Earth and Sky with Joanna MacGregor, Ensemble Bash and the Finchley Children’s Music Group at the BBC Proms in 2000, and he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music for professional distinction in 2001. His recordings include Britten’s Noye’s Fludde and A Ceremony of Carols (a Sunday Telegraph Critic’s Choice), and a Naxos CD of music by Charles Davidson, released as part of the Milken Archive series of American Jewish music. Recent guest conducting appearances have included the Oxford Chamber Orchestra, the Salisbury Sinfonia and the Wessex Sinfonietta.