Nick Van Elsen was born 2nd of January 1996. At the age of 8 he started his musical path at the Arts Academy of Noord-Limburg. 2009 is the year his view on music started to change by playing flugelhorn with the Royal Fanfare Band ‘Kempenbloei’ from Achel. It was here that he developed a greater interest in music. And so he began to take classes in Music Theory with Peter Testelmans, initially not to compose at all.
After attending ‘Soundmine – international composition course’ in 2012 with Wim Henderickx & Diederik Glorieux he started to compose his own music and finally found a way to tell his story. That same year he got selected for the ‘Times they are a’chaning’-project by the HERMESensemble and coached by Bram Van Camp & Hanne Deneire his first ensemble piece premiered in Antwerp and Bruge.
After graduating from high school and the music academy of Noord-Limburg he started to study composition with Wim Henderickx & Luc Van Hove at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp in 2014. A few months later ‘Labyrinthos’ premiered in Antwerp, performed by the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with Soundmine. In February 2015 he received the encouragement prize at the Prinses Christina Concours for his composition ‘1830’. One year later a major work for wind band, choir, organ, carillon, dance & narration ‘Klankspiegelingen’ premiered at the church of Neerpelt for the 1st anniversary of the city’s carillon.
Since the end of 2017 he is active as an engraver for Hal Leonard GMB and his works will be published by BVT Music. In 2018 he was one of 15 selected composers for the Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn (NL) and had masterclasses with Richard Ayres, Martijn Padding, Caliope Tsoupaki, Trevor Grahl & Allison Isadora.
In 2019 he received his master degree in Composition (cum laude) and made his own music theatre play based on the Greek tragedy ‘Bakchai’ by Euripides. He is the solo flugelhorn player and composer in residence of Festival Brass Band, a top section band in Belgium. His works are published by BVT Music.
Today his focus lies in composing for wind, fanfare and brass band. Besides that he dreams of composing a symphony. Nick has finished his master degree in Cultural Management at the University of Antwerp in 2020, focussing on cultural policy and politics.
Besides being a composer, Nick works as an advisor to the muncipal authorities in the city of Antwerp in the fields of culture and development cooperation. Since december 5th 2021 he is also president of the Flemish Youth Parliament (Vlaams Jeugd Parlement), an organisation which focuses on the development of political interest and skills among young people.