The Kennedy Center
James Nickel

James Nickel

James Nickel has served as third horn with the National Symphony Orchestra since 2008.

Previously, he was the Assistant Principal Horn with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Associate Principal Horn with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He has also serves as the Principal Horn with the Arizona Musicfest. He can be heard on recordings by the National, Dallas, Detroit, and Montreal Symphonies, and also with his horn colleagues from the Dallas and Houston Symphonies on their Crystal Records CD Texas Horns.

Outside of the orchestra, James enjoys performing chamber music with the Smithsonian Chamber players, the Eclipse Chamber orchestra, the 21st Century Consort, the National Chamber Players, and the Washington Symphonic Brass. 

In the summertime, James has participated at the Garth Newel Music festival, the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in Stellenbosch, South Africa, the Music in the Mountains festival in Durango, CO, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Spoleto festival, the American Wind Symphony, the Texas Music Festival, and the Sarasota Music Festival. In addition to his performing, Mr. Nickel is on faculty at both Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and, as of fall 2011, George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.

Mr. Nickel earned his B.M. from the New England Conservatory of Music. He is a native of St. Petersburg, Florida, but now lives in Virginia with his wife Julianna and their two children.

Contact Information

  • National Symphony Orchestra
    John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
    2700 F Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20566
    Phone: 202-416-8100
    Fax: 202-416-8105

    Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 101510
    Arlington, VA 22210