… just some of the orchestras who have booked Morgensterns clients during the past year.
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Nicola Hands (Oboe, Cor Anglais) Profile

Orchestral bookings (since joining Morgensterns in February 2014)

  • Orchestras: Chameleon Arts Orchestra, Croydon Symphony Orchestra, Epsom Symphony Orchestra, Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Mozart Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
  • Orchestras (Opera/Ballet): Royal Ballet Sinfonia.
  • Chamber Orchestras: Orpheus Sinfonia.
  • Shows: Miss Saigon.

Nicola's orchestral work also includes

  • Chameleon Orchestra (2nd Oboe)
  • English National Ballet (Extras list)
  • English National Opera (Extras list)
  • Highgate Opera, (2nd Oboe)
  • Irish Chamber Orchestra (reserve 2nd Oboe)
  • Jersey Symphony Orchestra (Principal Oboe)
  • London Graduate Orchestra (Principal Oboe)
  • Metropolitana Orchestra, Lisbon (2nd Oboe)
  • Mozart Symphony Orchestra (Principal Oboe)
  • Orquestra do Norte (Portugal) (2015-2017, Principal Cor Anglais and 2nd Oboe)
  • Member of RAM orchestras and ensembles (January 2012-June 2013): conducted by, amongst others, Semyon Bychkov, Iain Ledingham, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Franck Ollu, Ian Partridge, Thierry Fischer, Jac van Steen and Sir Colin Davis.
  • Royal Ballet Sinfonia (2nd Oboe)
  • Royal Scottish National Orchestra (2nd Oboe & Cor Anglais)
  • Sampson Orchestra of Cambridge (Principal)

Concerto Experience

  • Albinoni Concerto in D minor
  • Bach Double Concerto
  • Bainbridge Concertante in Moto Perpetuo with RAM Manson Ensemble, conducted by Franck Ollu, as part of a birthday celebration for the composer
  • Marcello Concerto in D minor
  • Mozart Oboe Concerto
  • Strauss Oboe Concerto
  • Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto

Musical Theatre

  • Miss Saigon
  • My Fair Lady at the Cambridge Arts Theatre (Oboe and Cor Anglais)
  • The Light Princess at the National Theatre (Oboe doubling Cor Anglais)
  • These Things Happen at the Courtyard Theatre, London (Oboe and Cor Anglais)

Born in Nottingham in 1987, Nicola Hands graduated in 2013 with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music Masters programme, where she studied oboe with Melanie Ragge and cor anglais with Jill Crowther. Nicola is currently a busy freelance performer based in London whose playing has been described by local reviewers in Nottingham and Cambridge as both 'beguiling' and 'exquisite'. Until recently she was the 2nd oboe/cor anglais player for the Orquestra do Norte, Portugal, and as a freelance performer Nicola has played regularly with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Orpheus Sinfonia as well as many other orchestras in and around London, and is an extra player for English National Opera and Orquestra Metropolitana in Lisbon. Nicola also plays for musical theatre; from September 2013 to February 2014 she was the oboe and cor anglais player for 'The Light Princess' by Tori Amos at the National Theatre, and has played for 'Miss Saigon' in the Prince Edward Theatre.

Nicola is also very active as a soloist and chamber musician. As a concert soloist, Nicola has performed the Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto with West Forest Sinfonia, the Mozart Oboe Concerto at Jesus College, Cambridge and the Strauss Oboe Concerto in St. Mary's Church, Nottingham. In 2015 she was awarded a Jellinek soloist's award by Croydon Symphony Orchestra, and as a result performed the Albinoni D minor concerto in Guildford in 2016 and returned to St. Mary's Church, Nottingham in 2016 for a solo performance of the Marcello D Minor concerto. Nicola also enjoys giving solo recitals, and has performed in venues such as Winchester Cathedral, Peterborough Cathedral, St. George's Hanover Square, St. James's Church Paddington and Waltham Abbey as a soloist with pianist Jonathan Pease, and regularly joins chamber groups for recitals. Nicola and Jonathan's duo has this year been selected to appear in the Making Music Selected Artists guide.

In 2012 Nicola was awarded the Evelyn Barbirolli prize for oboe and the Grimaldi Cor Anglais Scholarship at the Royal Academy, and in 2013 she won the concerto class of the Hastings Music Festival Concerto Competition playing the Martinu oboe concerto. In 2013 she was also Highly Commended in the Leila Bull oboe prize at the Academy.

During her Masters Nicola played in many high-profile performances, including principal oboe for Sir Colin Davis, Thierry Fischer and Yan Pascal Tortelier and cor anglais for Jac van Steen and Semyon Bychkov with the Academy Symphony Orchestra. She also performed the solo oboe part in Bainbridge's Concertante in Moto Perpetuo with the Academy Manson Ensemble conducted by Franck Ollu, in a special birthday celebration concert for the composer.

Before attending the Royal Academy, Nicola completed an MA in languages at Cambridge University. She was very active as both an oboist and a choral scholar in Cambridge. With the help of instrumental and choral scholarships from Jesus College, she was able to pursue her musical ambition, finding many opportunities to perform as both an ensemble player and soloist in the Cambridge music scene.


Graduate studies

  • The Royal Academy of Music, MA in Oboe and Cor Anglais (distinction), 2011 - 13
  • Cambridge University, MA in French and Spanish (2.i, distinction in Spanish Oral), 2006 - 10

Prizes and Awards

  • Winner of a Jellinek Award for Young Soloists
  • Winner of the Hastings Music Festival Woodwind Concerto class (Mar 2013)
  • Highly Commended in Leila Bull Oboe Prize at RAM (Feb 2013)
  • Winner of the inagural Dr Barry Grimaldi Prize for Cor Anglais at RAM (Oct 2012)
  • Winner of the Evelyn Barbarolli Oboe Prize at RAM (Jun 2012)
  • Awarded music and choral scholarships by Jesus College, Cambridge (2006, 07 & 09)

Nicola has taken part in Masterclasses given by Jonathan Kelly, Emmanuel Abbuhl, Nora Cismondi, Fabien Thouand, Domenico Orlando, Pauline Oostenrijk and Gareth Hulse.


  • Melanie Ragge - Oboe
  • Jill Crowther - Cor Anglais

Nicola joined Morgensterns in February 2014

Nicola's web profile was last updated 4th Dec 2018


Nicola Hands (Oboe, Cor Anglais) Profile

Simon Bainbridge, Concertante in Moto Perpetuo

Nicola's web links



Nicola Hands (Oboe, Cor Anglais) Profile

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Nicola Hands (Oboe, Cor Anglais) Profile

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Nicola Hands oboe,  cor anglais, web profile
Nicola Hands (Oboe, Cor Anglais)

The Premier UK Agency for Orchestral and Session Musicians.

If you require musicians for a concert, recital or to enhance an event,
please call Morgensterns Teleteam.

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The premier UK agency for Orchestral and Session Musicians.

If you require musicians for a concert, recital or to enhance an event,
please call Morgensterns Teleteam.