Concertmaster and artistic leader NCO

Gordan Nikolić was appointed artistic leader and concertmaster of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra (NKO) in 2005. Nikolić is an energetic master violinist who has created a sensation throughout the world; in Amsterdam he has become the public face of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. In his role of artistic leader Gordan Nikolić makes everything that moves him in the music both audible and visible; his passionate performances speak directly to the heart. ‘Nikolić generates excitement in everything he plays’ (The Times).



Gordan Nikolić was born in Serbia in 1968 and began to play the violin when he was seven years old. Two years later his parents sent the talented boy to a boarding school for violin lessons — five days a week. ‘It was tough, but the exceptional thing we had was music. It was like growing up in a church for someone who believes in God. This is where my closeness to music originated’. Nikolić furthered his studies with the renowned French violinist and conductor Jean-Jacques Kantorow at the Musikhochschule in Basel. He made a profound study of baroque music, but also worked with Lutoslawski and Kurtág as he was fascinated with contemporary composers as well.

In 1989 Gordan Nikolić was appointed to his first position as concertmaster and from that moment onwards Nikolić’s career as concert leader and as soloist picked up speed. He worked with a number of orchestras in Europe and won award after award. He was appointed concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1997, where he developed a special relationship with Sir Colin Davis from which he learned how important it is to preserve your own musical vision and never to submit yourself to another person’s authority. Davis told him that ‘if we should ever end up talking the same way, then we have lost. So say what you want to say, I will say what I have to say and then we will find a bridge’. Nikolić would never forget these words. 

Gordan Nikolić was appointed professor at the Royal College of Music in 2000 and at the Guildhall School of Music in 2003. He also taught at the Rotterdam Conservatory after his arrival at the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in 2004. Gordan Nikolić leads the chamber orchestra in an inspiring and very own, unique style. During concerts he sweeps up not only the members of the orchestra with his exhilerating mobility, but enthuses the entire auditorium as well.

Nikolić plays a Lorenzo Storioni violin from 1794.