ivory and brass


nicola hopkinson

From an early age I was interested in music and started playing the piano entering various classes at the Harrogate music festival. I was a pupil of Dame Fanny Waterman DBE for many years and obtained Grade 8 with distinction.

I developed a keen interest in the French Horn and started lessons at school obtaining Grade 8 with distinction. Amongst my teachers were Bob Ashworth (Principal Horn of Opera North) and Dougie Scarfe (Second Horn of Opera North).

My love of music continued and I went on to study for a BA Hons music degree at the University of East Anglia. At University I was awarded the Britten Pears Scholarship and the Herman and Dorothea Bryan Memorial Scholarship.

I then went on to study the Horn with Hugh Potts BBC SSO at the RSAMD in Glasgow obtaining a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance and a Masters Degree in Performance.

I am currently employed with North Lanarkshire and East Ayrshire Councils as a brass instructor and by Sistema Scotland as a musician in the orchestral project Big Noise.

Professional Work

  • BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra - including numerous recording sessions and Proms in the Royal Albert Hall 
  • Royal Scottish National Orchestra - Horn and Wagner Tuba 
  • Scottish Opera - including the Ring Cycle 2001-2003, 8th Horn and 2nd Bass Wagner Tuba 
  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra (small scale works) 
  • Scottish Ballet (toured UK) 
  • Glasgow Concert Orchestra


  • 4th Horn Scottish Opera (2004-2005)
  • 4th horn Scottish Ballet (2011-2014)

Solo/Chamber Experience

  • Mozart's Horn Concerto No.4 with University of East Anglia Symphony Orchestra
  • Performed in wind quintet for Donald Dewar’s funeral
  • Performed in numerous brass quintets (weddings and other functions etc)


  • Played for Eric Ruske, Ifor James, Hugh Seenen, Michael Thompson and Radovan Vlatkovic
french horn