Nicki Kennedy read Spanish at Bristol University, where she was awarded a First Class Honours Degree. She studied singing as a post graduate at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (Now the Conservatoire) and at the Royal College of Music, where she was awarded numerous prizes.
In a solo career specialising primarily in Baroque and Classical music, the most recent solo highlights included singing roles in Vivaldi’s Il Catone, Dixit Dominus, In furore iustissimae irae and Giudita Triumphans with Modo Antiquo in Krakow, Mexico City, Rome, Florence, Beaune and Vienna, and concerts with Brook Street Band at the Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square and other festivals including appearances on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune programme. She visited and performed as soloist at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals including Aix-en-Provence, Beaune, Cervantino (Mexico) Boston Early Music Festival, Aldeburgh, Potsdam and others too numerous to mention. She performed Vivaldi at the Maggio Musicale in Florence and in Turin with the Accademia Stefano Tempio. Nicki worked with a number of chamber ensembles including appearances with The Brook Street Band, The Dante Quartet and the Divertimenti Ensemble. Other seasons included Netherlands Bach Society and Die Koelner Akademie, She toured with King’s College Choir and The Academy of Ancient Music in Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, visiting King’s College, Cambridge, the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam as well as the festivals of Lessay, St Malo and La Chaise Dieu in France. With Die Koelner Akademie she performed Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and in Sweden, Bach Cantatas. She is an annual visitor to Guernsey where she has performed with the Guernsey Bach Choir for a number of years.
Other highlights included the Christmas Oratorio, St John Passion, Handel Italian Motets and Messiah with Le Parlement de Musique, Chants d’Auvergne with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Pergolesi Stabat Mater with the Turin Philharmonic Orchestra at the Winter Olympics, Haydn Die Schöpfung with the Orchestre des Champs–Elysées, Mozart Vesperae solemnes de confessore and Weber Mass in G at Sylvanes Festival, Vivaldi Cantatas with Les Musiciens du Louvre, Poulenc’s Gloria at King’s College Cambridge, Meder’s St Mathew Passion at the Boston Early Music Festival and in Los Angeles with Die Koelner Akademie and concerts with the English Chamber Orchestra, Florilegium and the Philharmonia Orchestra. 20th Century and contemporary work Berio Circles at Aix–en–Provence Festival and workshops with English National Opera Studio. Nicki also performed in numerous operas in particular in the roles of Mozart, Handel, Vivaldi, Monteverdi and Purcell operas over her career, appearing on stages throughout the U.K, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
Nicki has a varied discography to her name, not only as a soloist but also joining London’s top session choirs to record pop and film soundtracks including many of the major Hollywood films, games and animations of the past 15 years, including the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Shrek, the Hobbit and the Harry Potter films amongst many, many others.
Nicki Kennedy is an energetic and enthusiastic communicator. She is also a skilled diagnostician with a great deal of knowledge and experience and uses this with commitment and vitality to help children, adults, young professional and aspiring professional singers develop their vocal technique and performance skills.
Nicki works for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, with whom she will visit New Zealand in Summer 2020, the Rodolfus Foundation Courses (fomerly Eton Choral Courses) and, until moving to Jersey in summer 2019, taught the undergraduate Choral Scholars at Christ’s College, Cambridge University. She has taught at Junior Conservatoire (Trinity College of Music) and guided young treble choristers (Southwell Minster)
She was Head of Singing at Repton School and at Gresham’s School where she taught children from the very young age of 9 or 10 through to 18 years old, in a variety of styles and genres from Classical to Contemporary Commercial Music and Musical Theatre. At Gresham’s she conducted a number of choirs, including the Chapel Choir and Chamber Choir at the Prep School and the Junior Choir at the Senior School.
Nicki’s inspiration as a teacher begins in the traditional Bel Canto singing style, with its beautiful legato and resonant vocal delivery, combined with dynamic flexibility and grace. Though primarily offering a Classical technical grounding, she is also well versed in the techniques required for singing different styles and genres, in keeping with the very diverse musical interests of young musicians that come to her. She keeps abreast of developments in research by voice specialists and follows advancements by medical practitioners and voice therapists.
Singing should be easy, free and healthy, and a great singer should have access to their whole vocal range without strain or difficulty. She helps students to find a good body alignment and balance, and seek a free, natural way to breathe comfortably so that they can deliver a clean, resonant sound that has consistency throughout the range and on every vowel. A great singer should be free to communicate text and musical shapes in a style appropriate to their genre, and to listen and work with their accompanying players knowing that they can trust the vocal technique to deliver the sound they want throughout the range. The audience should hear an effortless tone, seamlessly beautiful depending on the genre, but in the end, enjoy listening to an artist who has mastered this to the degree that they can focus clearly on the matter of musical phrasing, text and communication according to the different aesthetic of each genre. Nicki will always endeavour to deliver a vocal training and programme that concentrates on healthy phonation, keeping voices safe and secure in their production.
A member of the British Voice Association, the ISM and of the Association of Teachers of Singing, Nicki attends courses to learn about vocal anatomy and methods of teaching and works collaboratively with colleagues to learn from them and refresh her ideas. Recent courses include Aberystwyth (Ron Morris), Estill 5 day course, and lectures by voice therapists and rehabilitation specialists Sarah Harris, Ed Blake, Christina Shewell and Dane Chalfin.