George Nickson


Adjunct Assistant Professor of Percussion


A percussionist and conductor of great versatility and virtuosity, George Nickson has been hailed by The New York Times as “a performer handling his role with ease and flair.”

George holds the Margie & William H. Seay Chair as Principal Percussionist of The Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Prior to joining the DSO, Nickson served as principal percussionist of the Sarasota Orchestra from 2012 to 2019. He received the Master of Music at The Juilliard School, where he studied with Daniel Druckman, and completed his undergraduate studies at the New England Conservatory with Will Hudgins. In addition to his position with the Sarasota Orchestra, Nickson has had the privilege of performing frequently with the orchestras of Boston;, Detroit; Washington, D.C.; Toronto; Honolulu; and San Francisco.

In addition to his post as adjunct assistant professor of percussion at Southern Methodist University, Nickson has served as a faculty member at The Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar and Ted Atkatz Percussion Seminar, and is currently percussion faculty at Boston University Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, Massachusetts.

As a noted clinician and teacher, Nickson has given masterclasses at University of Michigan, University of South Florida, Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention and the Florida Day of Percussion. Nickson performs with Vic Firth Drumsticks, Majestic Percussion, Mapex Drums and Zildjian Cymbals.

Recent highlights include world premiere concerto performances at ensembleNEWSRQ in Sarasota, Florida and at Tanglewood, solo performances at The Spoleto Festival, and solo recording projects that can be heard on NAXOS, Bridge and Albany Records. A champion of current and new music, Nickson frequently appears as conductor in notable performances with ensembleNEWSRQ and others, including world premieres, Charles Wuorinen’s New York Notes, Le Marteau sans Maitre of Pierre Boulez and Olivier Messiaen’s Colours de la cite Celeste.

Course list

Undergraduate and graduate percussion studies, specializing in orchestral and solo percussion.