Nick Palmer has been widely recognized for his compelling performances, visionary leadership and emotional connection to audiences and is regarded as one of the most talented symphonic and Pops conductors on the scene today.

Maestro Palmer — Music Director of North Charleston POPS! in South Carolina, the Lafayette Symphony in Indiana, the Evening Under the Stars Music Festival in Massachusetts, — has been called a “brilliant young music director” by Leonard Slatkin of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Nick was a recipient of the Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras as the nation’s most outstanding young music director. In September 2017 Nick made his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the famed Abbey Road Studios conducting two CD recordings of the music of American composer Arnold Rosner.

Nick Palmer has won rave reviews with the Detroit Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Louisville Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Salt Lake Symphony, Huntsville Symphony, Springfield (MA) Symphony , Greenville Symphony and other orchestras across the nation. He has also conducted over a dozen performances with the Jacksonville Symphony during the last several seasons, including regional concerts in St. Augustine, Orange Park and Daytona Beach. Nick is a frequent Pops conductor for the Springfield (MA) Symphony and was recently named principal pops conductor of the Altoona (PA) Symphony

When Nick began as music director the Lafayette Symphony has experienced increased ticket sales, dynamic and creative programming, a marked development in educational programs and regional concerts, and dramatic artistic growth. Dick Jaeger commented in the Lafayette Journal & Courier: “without trepidation this reviewer is ready to state that the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra and conductor are setting the bar higher and higher for other regional orchestras around the state and Midwest”.

In his first season as music director of the North Charleston POPS! the orchestra’s season ticket and single ticket sales increased dramatically. During 2016-2017 season the number of concerts increased, including expanded outreach and educational programs.

Nick has also worked with many top Pops performers including Smokey Robinson, Neil Sedaka, Art Garfunkel, Clay Aiken, Al Hirt, Shirley Jones, Jeans and Classics, Ballroom with a Twist, Tony Desare, Mary Wilson, Cirque de la Symphonie and many others. The Boulder Daily Camera noted: “(Palmer) is intensely musical, communicates well and easily with the orchestra and manages to share the entire musical experience with the audience in a meaningful way.”

Under Nick Palmer’s 18-year tenure the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra (OSO) developed one of the nation’s leading education programs with over 20 different series for young people and adults. The OSO’s remarkably high artistic level was widely praised: “The OSO, under the direction of Nicholas Palmer, showed why they have been getting rave reviews” (Cincinnati Post). The extensive tours and outreach of the OSO, with artists such as LeAnne Rimes, Dionne Warwick, Anne Murray, Mannheim Steamroller, Celtic Woman and Amy Grant as well as its many recordings have also brought orchestral music to countless numbers of first time listeners. The OSO was also profiled in Symphony Magazine and the Huffington Post and won awards from both the League of American Orchestras and the Kennedy Center.

A favorite guest conductor in Europe, Mexico and South America, Palmer recently conducted the Europa Philharmonie at the Hardinsburg Castle near Berlin, toured with the Orchestra di San Remo for two weeks in Italy and led concerts with the Czech Radio Orchestra at the Prague and Nelahozeves Castles celebrating the music of George Gershwin. The German press hailed Palmer’s conducting as “a musical high point with world class flair” and Radio Suisse Romande in Switzerland noted Palmer’s: “great professionalism with unity and verve”. Palmer has also led the West Bohemia Symphony, National Orchestra of Bolivia, Sophia Symphony, Sinaloa (OSSLA) and Monterrey (UANL) Symphony in Mexico, Milano Classico Orchestra, Medellin (EAFIT) Symphony and Lausanne Symphony.

In addition to his appointments in Lafayette and North Charleston, Palmer has been the music director of the Altoona Symphony and the Dubuque Symphony as well as the Nashville Ballet and Heartland Ballet. As an opera conductor he has led productions with the Boston Summer Opera, Harvard University Opera, Goldovsky Opera Company, University of Kentucky Opera Theater, Chicago Light Opera Works, Jacksonville Opera, Kentucky Opera/Owensboro Symphony and was Assistant Conductor of the American Opera Center at the Juilliard School.

A native of Hingham, Massachusetts, Palmer graduated cum laude from Harvard University and received his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Orchestral Conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Iowa, respectively. He also has studied at the Juilliard School, Pierre Monteux Domaine School, Aspen Music School, the Festival at Sandpoint, and the Academia Chigiana in Italy, where he was a student of Franco Ferrara and Carlo Maria Giulini.  Dr. Palmer is also Distinguished Conductor in Residence at Kentucky Wesleyan College.  Nick and Dorothy Palmer have four sons: Nicholas, Daniel, Alexander and Oliver and live on a farm outside of Owensboro, Kentucky.