Nikolai started his musical journey with oboe when he was 12 years old. He placed first in several competitions in high school. Nikolai was relatively late to piano, starting when he was 14 years old. He self-taught himself until he was 16, and now attends Belmont University, where he studies classical piano, classical organ, and chemistry. He currently studies under Dr. Robert Marler, the pianist for the Nashville Symphony. Nikolai also studies under Gintaras Janusevicius, who was a semi-finalist in both the “Montreal International Music Competition” and the “Rubenstein Piano Competition”. Nikolai performed in a masterclass with pianist Joyce Yang when he was 21 years old at Belmont University. Nikolai has also performed in the Nashville Steinway Gallery, performing works by Ginastera and Schubert. Nikolai’s musical capability extends beyond performing. In 2022, Nikolai received a university-wide award for his essay “Messiaen: God, Birds, and Eternity”. Nikolai is a recitalist in the Chicago-land area as well.
You can find Nikolai’s 2022 20th Century Music Competition piano performance here.