Biography

Nick Butters has over 40 years of experience in creating live music across many genres, and has been training young professionals for the arts since 1998.

He first gained professional experience on touring productions in the 1970's, including 'Rose Marie', 'Half a Sixpence' and 'Cabaret', and has been musical director for many youth theatre and university and theatre school productions.

Recent professional productions as musical director have included 'Dido and Aeneas' and 'The Pirates of Penzance' for Berwick Festival Opera and university productions have included 'Into the Woods' for Sunderland University (dir. Graeme Danby) and 'Bernarda Alba' for Cumbria University (dir. Max Reynolds).

Over a 9 year period he taught on the BA Musical Theatre courses at Guildford School of Acting and at ArtsEd London, before leaving to take up a post at the Conservatoire de la Dordogne as a Professeur de Piano. During this time he accompanied masterclasses with Maria Friedman and Ruthie Henshall at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. At ArtsEd he was musical director for, among others, 'A Little Night Music', 'Tell me on a Sunday', 'Nine', 'Honk!', 'West Side Story', 'A Chorus Line', 'Lady in the Dark' and 'Cabaret'.

With youth theatres he has been musical director for 'Oh, what a lovely war', 'The Wind in the Willows', 'Sweet Charity' and 'My Fair Lady'. In partnership with Nicholas Tudor he worked with the Graeae Company of severely disabled performers to produce two reviews. He also has considerable experience of teaching students who are on the autism spectrum.

He has a busy professional life outside the University of Cumbria, including a teaching post at the Sage Gateshead's Centre for Advanced Training as a piano tutor. Other work has included television appearances as King George III, he is the voice of GCSEpod's GCSE Music modules and in the commercial world he has been musical director for two productions for Lloyds Bank staff at the ExCel Centre, London and the O2 Arena, London.

Qualifications and memberships

BA(Hons) Music, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Academic and research interests

Nick is particularly interested in exploring cross-genre compositions involving the voice in a theatre context. He is currently composing a song-cycle based on the work of the American poet, dramatist and critic Dorothy Parker and he is collaborating with a local Cumbrian composer on a significant new work for piano, which he will perform for the first time in Carlisle Cathedral in September.

Nick is exploring collaborative work with the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne (of which he is a member), and is also exploring the interface between music, theatre and neurology, involving the University of Cumbria's medical imaging team. He is also planning to explore practical experiments in improving the speed and retention of learnt material in rehearsal, involving students from the university, which he hopes will be of benefit not only here but in the industry at large.