Nicole Parks

Nicole Parks

Violin, Viola

Originally from Minnesota, Nicole Parks is a Boston based violinist, educator, and advocate for contemporary music. She is passionate about collaborating with performers and composers to bring contemporary music to a wide range of audiences. She is a founder of the Semiosis Quartet, a string quartet that focuses on the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Previously, she created and led The Lirica Chamber Ensemble to play rarely heard and new works for chamber orchestra. She also performs with contemporary music ensembles such as Guerilla Opera, Sound Icon, and the Original Gravity Concert Series among others. She is on the Executive Board for Equilibrium, a flexible ensemble in which she performs and provides videography services.

As an educator, Nicole holds a student first philosophy. She believes music education is only one portion of what we need to develop into well-rounded beings. In lessons, she focuses on more than just the technique of playing an instrument, but also on the individuality of each student. Through study of history, theory, composition, and improvisation, students learn about music from a variety of cultures and gain an understanding of where classical music fits into contemporary culture. She was recently asked to join the faculty of The Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music as a Guest Professor to teach a pedagogy class. She has been teaching privately and leading ensembles for over 10 years and teaches privately in her home studio and at the Concord Conservatory of Music. In the summers, she teaches at the Governor's School of North Carolina where she gives lessons, leads workshops, teaches improvisation, and collaborates with instructors across many disciplines. She previously held a position at the Community Music Center of Boston where she developed the Beginning Strings Program for the Early Childhood Department. 

She is currently the Acting-President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American String Teachers Association where she has created the Novice Division of the MA-ASTA Master's competition to offer a low-pressure competition to students under the age of 13. Her students participate in the ASTA-CAP exams, and she is actively finding ways to get educators to collaborate to create a strong community in the Greater Boston area. 

Nicole is active as an orchestral performer in New England, and frequently performs with many of the area’s professional orchestras, including Odyssey Opera, the Monadnock Festival Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project and many others. She also holds the concertmaster position for the Arlington Philharmonic, where her education and performance passions meet as she leads a string section of community members.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from St. Olaf College and a Master of Music and Professional Studies Certificate from The Boston Conservatory, where she studied violin performance and pedagogy with Sharan Leventhal.