Victor Nicoara (born in Romania, 1984) has been leading a double-life since childhood, constantly dividing his time and energy between his two passions - performance and composition. Since starting to play the piano at the age of 7 and composing at 14, Victor has always looked beyond and away from well-trodden paths, concentrating instead on developing his own personal repertoire, as well as the sincere, meaningful musical spaces which he strives for in his compositional endeavours.
Having graduated with a Masters degree from the Royal College of Music in London in both piano and composition (studying piano with Andrew Ball and composition with Huw Watkins and Jonathan Cole), he has also been fortunate to receive invaluable advice from other illuminating mentors . As a pianist, he has received guidance from, most notably, Jacques Rouvier and Fabio Bidini and has attended masterclasses with Vitaly Margulis, Karl-Heinz Kämmerling and Paul Badura-Skoda. In composition, Victor has sought advice from Helmuth Lachenmann, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Julian Anderson, Dan Dediu and Ștefan Niculescu.
Victor’s performances have taken him all over Europe and the Middle East, playing in venues such as the Romanian Atheneum Bucharest, Salle Flagey Brussels and the Philharmonie in Berlin. His activities also included joint-projects with PODIUM Festival Esslingen and the Literaturhaus Berlin. He has over time had the good fortune to find musical partners with whom to establish a powerfully communicative musical dynamic. Among such collaborators have been Leontina Văduva, Nina Bernsteiner, Yoel Gamzou, Vlad Maistorovici, Stefan Hadjiev, Emanuel Graf and Carolina Eyck; he has played as soloist with orchestras such as the Bacău Philharmonic, the Timișoara Philharmonic and the Craiova Philharmonic and has collaborated with the Neue Philharmonie München in Germany; his compositions have been played by the RCM Sinfonietta & Contemporary Consort, Trio Alto, Other New Music Ensemble and the IMO Chamber Ensemble. Most recently, his piece “Towards eternally changing distances” (2014) was premiered in Germany by the Staatsorchester Kassel under Yoel Gamzou.
Since 2009, Victor has been a permanent member of the International Mahler Orchestra and recently of its new sub-project “IMOGEN” - a new ensemble of outstanding players from all over Europe dedicated to exploring alternative approachesto ensemble-playing, The ensemble is particularly committed to original programming and innovative concert-formats. Victor has become increasingly involved in the ensemble throughout the years, taking the position of Co-director of its chamber-music series and ultimately joining as member of the board.
Alongside his purely musical activities, Victor has pursued various cross-art interests: in 2010-12, he has performed numerous shows involving theatre and music with the actor Jon Kiriac (Berlin); he has composed and recorded the soundtrack for films such as the silent short "Bubico" (premiered as part of the Berlin Caragiale 100 Festival) and "Die Kreuzersonate" (premiered in 2018) and has been the musical and dramaturgical advisor for the upcoming feature-film ”Prélude”. He has recorded the soundtrack to this film as well.
Victor has always felt a passion as well as a responsibility to learn and perform lesser known works at every opportunity. This inclination led him to find a strong musical and spiritual resonance in the music of Erik Satie, Georges Enescu, Morton Feldman and particularly in the original works of Ferruccio Busoni - which form a nearly ubiquitous part of his concert programs.
Berlin has been Victor’s home and informal, unseen teacher ever since the end of his formal education - it was his relocation from London to the German capital that brought about a thorough rethinking of his approach to composition. Calling into question his previous practices and beliefs , he moved away from the methodically constructivist approach he had been pursuing in favour of a more intuitive and organic one.
Victor has befriended numerous different pianos throughout his career and is always equally excited and anxious to discover who his keyboard-companion for the evening is going to be.
Photos by Oran Greier