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! He went on to winning first place in the two major Danish competitions for young classical musicians (Berlingske tidenes klassiske musikkonkurrence and Jacob Gade’s Talent Legat).
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.
Between 2014-2016, Nikolaj was part the European Union Youth Orchestra as Principal Bassoon, and was thrilled to travel throughout the continent with his fellow young musicians. In 2018, he went to Greece to teach music at the Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra.
In the past three years, Nikolaj’s base has been Copenhagen where he worked with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra as second bassoon. But he has been on the road too, as part of the academy of Chamber Orchestra of Europe (2015), playing with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivan Fisher (2017) and as guest principal with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Turku Philharmonics (Finland), Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and Copenhagen philharmonics.
Outside playing, Nikolaj is passionate about food – preparing it, serving it and eating it with friends. Describing himself as "a joyful cosmopolitan", Nikolaj enjoys travelling, and biking in all weathers.
Supported by Tim Marshall.