Maestro Nicholas Armstrong is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, ensemble in residence at the Brooklyn Museum. Nick is currently in his twenty-first season with the orchestra and he continues to lead the dedicated musicians through a demanding repertoire of unusual and thrilling music. Under his creative leadership the orchestra has grown significantly in size and ability, and now enjoys the reputation of being “one of the East Coast’s finest community orchestras” — certainly its most fun! It is without doubt one of New York City’s crown jewels and Nick is proud of the work his colleagues have done in bringing the orchestra to the Brooklyn Museum.
Nick is originally from the tiny village of Bursledon, outside Southampton in the south of England. He moved in a serial fashion to larger and larger cities—Bristol, where he studied composition and viola at the University of Bristol; Venice, where he was a member of the orchestra of the famed Teatro La Fenice, and where he studied conducting at the Conservatorio “B. Marcello”; Richmond, VA, where he was a member of the Richmond Symphony while taking his Master of Music in Conducting at Virginia Commonwealth University; Washington D.C. where as a freelance opera and orchestra conductor he was in great demand; and New York, or more specifically, Brooklyn, where he has made his home since 1985. He has led opera performances with Virginia Opera, New York Chamber Opera, the Queens Opera Association among many others.
He is an accomplished violist, and specializes in Baroque music as a violinist, violist, and harpsichordist. As a music educator he has been Executive Director of the Preparatory Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College, and has been in demand as an orchestral clinician throughout New York State.
Described by the press as “outstanding” and “excellent”, Felipe Tristan is quickly establishing himself as an orchestral conductor and soloist. Recently, The Epoch Times wrote about his performance: “An expert flutist. Elegant, impressive breath control… [his] playing was suave with a focused warm tone.”
In 2011, Mr. Tristan won a place in the Kenan Performing Arts Fellowship at Lincoln Center Education, a prestigious program for emerging artists, which culminated in his successful New York debut recital, “Viva La Flauta!” at Lincoln Center. He is a founding member of New York-based ensembles Altius Winds and The Metropolitan Four (“The M4”). In 2016, Mr. Tristan and The M4 will be recording their first CD, produced by Grammy Award-winner Brandie Lane. As a first-prize winner of the Shining Stars Concerto Competition, Mr. Tristan recently performed with the NY Concerti Sinfonietta. He has also received awards from the Winston-Salem Foundation, DW Productions, Organization of American States, and CONARTE.
An accomplished conductor, Mr. Tristan was recently appointed Assistant Conductor of the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra under the direction of maestro Nicholas Armstrong. Mr. Tristan held the same position with the Litha Symphony Orchestra for the 2014-2015 season, in New York City. Mr. Tristan has conducted ensembles in the United States and Mexico, including the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, Astoria Symphony Orchestra, Queens College Orchestra, Filarmónica Juvenil de Nuevo León, in concerts and workshops. His conducting teachers and mentors include: Tong Chen, Tito Muñoz, Paul Nadler, Maurice Peress, Donald Portnoy, George Rothman, Mark Shapiro, Kirk Trevor, Ransom Wilson.
Mr. Tristan has experience in arts administration, artistic programming, fundraising, marketing, and social media strategy. Mr. Tristan has a B.M. (Flute Performance) from the Escuela Superior de Música y Danza de Monterrey, a B.A. (Communications/Marketing) from the Universidad Regiomontana, an M.M. (Flute Performance) from the University of Houston, and a Performance Artist Certificate from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Currently, he continues his studies in Conducting in the evening division of The Juilliard School, under the direction of conductor Mark Shapiro.