Raised in sunny Medicine Hat, Alberta, Amy studied cello with Robert Bardston. Awarded first prize at the Alberta Rotary Music festival at the tender age of 12 she was quickly accepted on full scholarship at the Medicine Hat College Music Academy. An honors French immersion graduate Amy set her sights abroad studying with Tilmann Wick at the Hanover School of Music and Theater in Germany. There she was bestowed the honor of performing on a 1867 Jacques-Pierre Thibout cello. Throughout her studies Amy performed regularly in Germany, Poland and France as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. Highlights include the Courcheville festival in France, the Baltic orchestra festival in Poland, Markoberdorf festival in Germany and the Tone Art music series in Woffenbuttle Germany. Amy recorded the complete Michael Haydn Symphonies with the German Chamber Academy in Neuss on the Rhein. After completing with honors her Kunstlerisches Ausbuildung (B.Mus) and an Orchestral diploma Amy returned to Canada to pursue her Master in Music with Tanya Prochazska at the University of Alberta.
During her studies in Edmonton Amy received Canada Council’s Jacques Bombardier award and the Canadian Confederation of University Women’s award for her research on the development of the solo suite from Bach to Britten. Her graduate year was most exciting with a competition winning performance with the University Symphony Orchestra and that summer she married her husband Shawn Nicholson an Edmonton Metro Paramedic. Amy continued into Doctoral studies receiving a generous recruitment grant from the University of Alberta. Her studies have been put on hold to nurture their two little ones Meara (6) and Finley (4).
Amy’s rich expressive tone and seamless stylistic versatility has led to engagements with Rod Stewart, Nigel Kennedy, and Tommy Banks to name a few. Her improvisational skills enabled a partnership of performing and recording 3 albums with the world music ensemble named Rangin in Germany. An affinity for everything 20th century to present, Amy is an active studio artist, new music specialist (Ultra Violet Ensemble) and regularly performs at the “Now Hear This!” New music festival in Edmonton. She enjoys working with living composers stretching the limits of her cello performance rooted so deeply in her love of the classical arts. Amy currently performs on a 1977 Colin Irving cello from the Prochaszka Music estate.
Amy is thrilled to be the Stringbeans’ newest core member and to perform their wide range of repertoire. She is looking forward to many great years to come.