Born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, bassoonist Nikolaj Vestmar Henriques actually began his musical career playing the clarinet. He switched to the bassoon at the age of 13, and has never let go of the instrument since!
Nikolaj did his BA in Music (bassoon) at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, studying with Audun Halvorsen and Sebastian Stevenson. He then moved to Germany to continue his education at Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts with professor Ole Kristian Dahl. During his studies, Nikolaj was part of the European Union Youth Orchestra as Principal Bassoon. In 2018, he went to Greece to teach music at the Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra. After graduating, Nikolaj joined the Danish National Symphony Orchestra for three years as Second Bassoon.
In early 2019 Nikolaj relocated to Birmingham to join the CBSO as Section Leader Bassoon, occasionally performing solo pieces with the orchestra. At the same time, he started teaching at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire as well as giving master classes at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
During the COVID pandemic, Nikolaj continued working with other musicians and giving master classes via zoom to a wide audience of fellow bassoonists from all over the world.
In recent years, Nikolaj has enjoyed playing with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Iceland Symphonic Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Royal Danish Orchestra.
When he is not busy with music (and admittedly, that is most of the time), Nikolaj is passionate about food – preparing it, serving it, and eating it with friends.