The English conductor Nicholas Wilks was born in Kingston, near London, and spent his childhood in Hampshire. He was a chorister of Winchester College Chapel Choir and a music scholar at Cranleigh School, and he studied English at Oxford University, where he formed the Oxford Philharmonia. He subsequently studied clarinet and conducting with Colin Metters and John Carewe at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and in July 2000 he made his highly successful debut at the BBC Proms. On that occasion he conducted the premiere of Alec Roth’s Earth and Sky, with pianist Joanna MacGregor, the percussion quartet Ensemble Bash, and the Finchley Children’s Music Group, of which he was formerly music director and with which he has made a number of critically acclaimed recordings. He is a trustee for the Soweto string teaching project Buskaid, and in 1998 he led the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra’s tour of South Africa, the first visit by a British youth orchestra since the fall of apartheid. Since September 2004 he has served as Second Master of music at Winchester College and has been the Musical Director of the Winchester Symphony Orchestra since 2006.