Meet Vanguard: Welcome, Nico!

Photo by Curtis Noborikawa III

Photo by Curtis Noborikawa III

Welcome to the Vanguard Reed Quintet Blog! What better way to kick it off than to introduce our newest member?

Texas-based clarinetist Nicolas Chona is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, having completed his master of music studies under Jonathan Gunn in 2018. He received his B.M. in music performance from Rice University in 2014, where he studied with Richie Hawley. In the summer of 2012, he attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, working with recognized clarinetists Joaquin Valdepenas and Bil Jackson and conductors Mei-Ann Chen, Jane Glover, Ludovic Morlot, Hugh Wolff, and Osmo Vanska.

While living in Houston, Nico was a founding member of the Noctua Wind Quintet, bronze medalists at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Additionally, Noctua has won prizes at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition, the Chamber Music Yellow Springs competition, and was the only American group invited to the live rounds of the 63rd ARD International Music Competition in 2014. Nico made his Kennedy Center Millennium Stage debut with the group that same year while on tour with Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Larry Rachleff. As a freelancer in the area, he appeared on The Woodlands Salon Series and the Aperio: Music of the Americas chamber music series while also performing with larger groups like the Symphony of Southeast Texas. Additionally, Nico worked as operations manager for the Houston Youth Symphony before moving to Austin for his graduate studies.

In Austin, Nico has performed extensively with Density512, a new music collective led by current and former UT students devoted to bringing contemporary classical music to the Austin live music culture by supporting local musicians and composers. He was also a musician in the Zilker Theater Productions' 2017 run of The Wizard of Oz, where he doubled on saxophone.

In 2018, he was offered a position in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for their centennial 2018-2019 season, beginning in September of 2018.

We're so thrilled to have Nico with us!

Check back throughout the week for introductions/life updates for the rest of our members!