Shipway, Nigel

London, England

Nigel Shipway studied percussion, playing from an early age with the well known studio percussionist, Alan Grahame.

At the age of sixteen Nigel continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied with James Blades OBE and Reginald Barker, who was at that time Principal Percussion with the Royal Opera House. On leaving the Royal Academy of Music he studied further with the American percussionist Bobby Christian in Chicago, USA.

Early professional experiences include substantial amounts of work with the Halle, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Welsh, Bournemouth, Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham, Welsh Opera and a wide variety of other regional orchestras. After advice from James Blades and Alan Taylor (Timpanist of the Royal Opera House) Nigel settled in London and stopped travelling the country from end to end on a weekly basis.

Since that time he has established a good working relationship as a percussionist in every field of musical style. Classical, Latin, American, Baroque, Medievil, Country & Western, Rock & Roll, “Squeaky Gate”, Show Music, Big Band, Jazz, Indian, Russian, Japanese, Hawaiian, to mention just a few!

As a guest Principal Percussionist he has worked often with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Johns and London Concert Orchestra.

He is regular Principal Percussionist with National Symphony Orchestra, New London Orchestra and Showbiz Pops Orchestra.

Nigel was the percussionist for the West End production of “Cats” for all but the first six months of its highly successful run (as he was touring with Mantovani in US at that time) and has enjoyed a long and productive career in London’s recording studios, playing on over 500 record albums, TV (including Blackadder), radio, films and advertising jingles. He also played on the original recording of Torvill and Dean's Bolero.

He was the solo featured percussionist for the film scores “Napoleon”, with music by Carl Davis, “Knights Move”, with music by Anne Dudley and “Gangster No. 1” with music by John Dankworth. Plus other more recent works.

Nigel is a regular After Dinner Speaker both in the UK and USA. His most popular theme is "Recollections of a Life Spent Behind Bars".