Dallas-born Nicholas Leh Baker is quickly establishing himself as a dynamic and exciting young conductor. Baker's artistic achievements have earned him the prestigious Bruno Walter Conducting Scholarship at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.
In 2018, Nicholas made his debut with the Lviv Philharmonic in the Ukraine. In April Nicholas premiered a commissioned Violin Concerto with renowned violinist, Chloe Trevor, hosted by SMU’s Syzygy Contemporary Music Ensemble.
In the past Nicholas has guest conducted the String Orchestra of Brooklyn with guest violinist, Giora Schmidt, the Austin Symphony as well as with the Syzygy Contemporary Ensemble at the Meadows School of the Arts.
He has previously worked with professional ensembles including the, Alia Musica Pittsburgh, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Shepherd School of Music, Sonus Chamber Orchestra,and held the principal guest conducting position with Houston Symphonic Band, as well as serving as resident conductor for The Foundation of Modern Music.
Nicholas has actively participated in masterclasses at distinguished festivals with world-renowned conductors, Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and the International Conducting Workshop and Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria.
In addition to his conducting engagements, Nicholas Leh Baker is also a dedicated violinist and chamber musician. As an advocate with a great passion for new music, Nicholas founded the ensemble Duo Scordatura. Currently in their 12th year, Duo Scordatura, has both premiered and commissioned over 65 new works by composers such as Jordan Kuspa, George Heathco, Paul Dooley, Avner Dorman, and Alexandra Bryant. In 2013 Duo Scordatura released their debut with rave reviews:
"A spectacular debut!", "... Guns blazing!!"
- New MusicBox
"... Scordatura's enthusiasm for new music is contagious."
- Culture Map Houston
In March 2016 Duo Scordatura made their Carnegie Hall debut with a nearly sold out audience in Weill Hall. Nicholas has also premiered two commissioned violin and viola concertos at the Pittsburgh New Music Festival with Alia Musica Pittsburgh. As conductor-in-residence with the Foundation of Modern Music, Nicholas hosted the Naxos label CD release concert of
internationally well-known composer, Avner Dorman.
Nicholas is a graduate from the orchestral conducting program at SMU Meadows School of the Arts and former Assistant Conductor of the Meadows Symphony Orchestra. At Meadows, Nicholas studied orchestral conducting with Dr. Paul Phillips. Previously, he has studied conducting with Larry Rachleff, Donald Schleicher, Larry Livingston, Brett Mitchell, Rebecca Miller Gustav Meier and Marin Alsop. Nicholas studied violin with Arkady Fomin, Rodica Gonzalez, and Chee-yun Kim.
In the press
“Violinist, Nicholas is an exciting musician...who knows how to coax a multitude of sounds out of his instrument with beauty and ease.”
- Houston Chronicle
“Conductor, Nicholas Leh Baker gave a solid and masterful rendition of Garcia’s work, “Inter Alia.”
- San Francisco Music Journal
- Houston Chronicle
“In all my work with him, I have always found Nicholas to be an incredibly thoughtful and surprising musician, as well as a particularly insightful interpreter of my own compositions.”
- Jordan Kuspa, Composer
"His conducting is clear and expressive, as he is a seasoned musician at this point in his career".... "having collaborated with him as soloist, or joining him in a chamber music setting, both his conducting and playing is at the highest level." "... I predict a promising career for this conductor/violinist."
- John D Hendrickson, concert pianist