Nico de Villiers joins the RNCM as Deputy Head of Vocal Studies

We’re delighted to announce that Nico de Villiers will be joining our School of Vocal Studies and Opera as Deputy Head of Vocal Studies from September.

A well-known vocal coach and author, Nico taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama until recently, and enjoys a successful career as a solo and collaborative pianist.

Nico de Villiers

Credit: Matthew Johnson

He has performed in venues including the Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Festival Hall, and has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, Sky Arts and, amongst others, BBC Four. Nico has also lead masterclasses across the UK as well as at conservatories and universities in Sweden, the USA, Austria, and his native South Africa.

As a practice-based researcher, Nico has a particular interest in unearthing and performing works of neglected composers. Since 2010, he has focused on the life and works of the Dutch-American conductor and Oscar-winning composer Richard Hageman (1881-1966), establishing himself as the leading authority on Hageman’s life and works. He since performed Hageman’s songs internationally, published articles on Hageman’s vocal works in Classical Singer and Opera magazines, and co-authored the first critical biography Richard Hageman: From Holland to Hollywood with Kathryn Kalinak (Rhode Island College) and Asing Walthaus (Leeuwarder Courant) for Peter Lang Publications. Forthcoming publications include the release of the first ever recording to be dedicated solely to Hageman’s songs for Aliud Records, a critical edition of 28 of Hageman’s songs for Carl Fischer Music, as well as a companion to Hageman’s songs for Peter Lang Publications.

Nico says: ‘I am thrilled to have been appointed as the Deputy Head of Vocal Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and cannot wait to get started. This appointment will give me the opportunity to make a real difference in the development of the next generation of singers.’

Professor Lynne Dawson, Head of Vocal Studies and Opera, added: ‘We’re absolutely delighted that Nico will take up the post of Deputy Head of Vocal Studies from September. He is a hugely talented young pianist and coach, who is also an author and researcher. We look forward very much to welcoming him into the team and the School.’

Find out more about Nico at

7 July 2022