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Nicholas Giles-Palmer



Wanganui-born Nicholas's earliest memory of ballet was watching youngsters compete in local competitions at the Wanganui Opera House in 1967. A move to Invercargill in the 70's led to his beginning formal music lessons with the O'Byrne School of Music, with his career as a dance pianist beginning in 1977 playing for RAD examination classes and open classes. In 1982 he moved to Wellington to work as a class pianist for both the National School of Ballet (now NZSD) and the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB).

In 2011, during his third tenure at the RNZB, Nicholas took a break and stepped down from his full-time position as Company Musician. He now works as resident Class Pianist for the RNZB, the NZSD and also teaches music. Recent highlights include playing silent film for New Zealand Film Archive launch of the new historic film website and accompanying Waiata for the Māori immersion Kura for the same event.

In his own words, “My music is about music to move with. I have had considerable experience composing music for contemporary dance styles, classical ballet, and silent movie accompaniment. I have always enjoyed playing the piano and using the piano as an accompanying instrument while improvising with music to movement seems perfectly natural. Composing comes equally as naturally to me as improvisation so this part of music is giving and creating something from myself to you.”

Composed (6)


for piano

Big River

for mixed chamber trio

Mango Yango

for piano

Piano-tonal 1

for piano

Two Chorales

excerpt from the ballet "What's That?"

What's This?

for violin and piano