Nicholas Santangelo Schwartz has distinguished himself as one of the best bassists on the international concert stage. He is a laureate of multiple international competitions, including being the youngest winner ever of the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition and commission prize. He was also the first double bassist to win (in an unanimous vote) the Stulberg International String Competition and its Bach Festival Society Award in its 43 year history.
In 2013, Nicholas became a tenured bassist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, widely known as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. He formerly played with the Berlin Philharmonic as a member of the Karajan Akademie, and in the USA with the Boston Symphony and Pops orchestras. In addition to being a long time member of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, he was guest artist at multiple international chamber music festivals in Holland, Germany, Norway, Belarus, Italy and Brasil, with such artists as Kirill Troussov, Anna Fedorova, Maximilian Hornung, Rosanne Philippens, Linus Roth, Janusz Wawrowski, and Alexei Ogrintchouk. In addition to his numerous concert performances, Nicholas enjoys teaching privately and giving master classes. He is also a mentor in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s Academy program.
In addition to being a world class bassist, Nicholas is also an active cellist. He is the only performer who plays at an artistic level on both instruments. He performs on a regular basis with top artists such as Daniel Rowland, Eldbjørg Hemsing, Anna Fedorova, Olivier Patey, and Benedict Kloeckner and often performs on both the double bass and cello on the same program. With world renowned concert pianist, Anna Fedorova he has formed the “Oyster Duo”, performing across Europe, Ukraine and the US performing duo repertoire both the cello and double bass.
In other musical genres, Nicholas feels equally at home. As a jazz bassist he won his first international competition at Carnegie Hall at the age of 15 with the “Midday Jazz Quartet”, receiving the Grand Prize in the Chamber Music Foundation of New England International Chamber Music Competition. He shared the stage with distinguished artists such as Mark O’Connor and Russell Malone and Clark Terry.
Originally from Brookline, Massachusetts (USA) Nicholas resides in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In his youth, Nicholas was a competitive skateboarder, having been twice the 15 and under champion of Boston. He then completed an undergraduate degree at Boston University, where he received the Zulalian Foundation Award. His teachers include Edwin Barker (Boston Symphony principal double bassist) and Matthew McDonald (solo bassist of the Berlin Philharmonic) as Karajan Akademist in 2012-13.
Nicholas plays a cello by Amati Mangenot (1930, Bordeaux) and double basses by Gaetano Antoniazzi (1872, Milan) and Bernhard Simon Fendt II (London, 1840).