Organist ROBERT NICHOLLS revives the 1923 classic silent movie "HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME" with an improvisational musical theme sound track on the Barhydt Organ. Starring Lon Chaney in the role that launched his career as a major star, and featuring a 19 acre set and thousands of extras, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" is a visual spectacle on a grand scale. Robert will improvise a live sound track that moves frame by frame with the epic visual masterpiece.
Nicholls is the music director and champion improvisational artist at the First Presbyterian Church in Evansville, Indiana. He won the 2012 top prize in the American Guild of Organists' biannual pipe organ improvisation competition.
Nicholls was born in Cambridge, England, to a British farmer and American mother from Carmi, Illinois, and grew up in rural Cambridgeshire. At the age of eight he joined the choristers at Westminster Abbey in London under the direction of Simon Preston. He graduated from Oundle School and Cambridge University. Robert sang tenor in the choirs of Gonville and Caius and St. John's Colleges in Cambridge. He maintained an abiding interest in the organ and joined the staff of First Presbyterian Church in Evansville, Indiana, in 1996.
Robert plays the piano, directs the Church band, choir and handbells and plays the Fisk Pipe organ Op. 98. His organ teachers have included James Parsons, Philip Scriven, Roberta Gary, and John Schwandt (improvisation). Robert's compositions for both organ and choir have been performed and broadcast in both the US and Europe, and at RSCM America summer residential courses.
He has accompanied "Phantom of the Opera," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "The Golem," "Nosferatu," "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari."
Robert is married to Emma Nicholls, PhD, a pediatric Clinical Psychologist whom he met next door in Evansville. They are proud parents of Elena (12) and William (9).