Nick Strimple has served on the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music since 1996, where he is now an emeritus professor. Firmly established as a musician outside of academia, Nick Strimple has composed over 100 works for concert, worship, film, and television. His compositions have been commissioned by the Vienna International Organ Festival, J. Paul Getty Museum, London Youth Choir, The Golden Bridge, and others. He has made over twenty pop recordings, serving as arranger/director for Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Air Supply, and other leading artists. He has also conducted some of the world’s leading ensembles, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Chorus and Orchestra of the Polish National Opera, the Slovak Radio Orchestra, the Oratorio Society of New York, London Voices, Ensemble Vocal D’Aquitaine, the Prague Radio Chorus, and the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Strimple is recognized internationally for his work with music related to the Holocaust, and has lectured on the subject at Yale University, Oxford University (Magdalen College and Yiddish Studies Institute), Wellesley College, University of Miami, University of Minnesota, Oregon Bach Festival, Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, Krakow Jewish Culture Festival, and other distinguished institutions. He has presented lecture/concerts at national conferences of the American Musicological Society, the American Choral Directors Association, the Cantors Assembly, and other organizations. Most recently he lectured at the International Viktor Ullmann Conference at Beit Theresienstadt, Israel, presented a lecture/concert on the Pure Land series (London) and, over several years, presented an annual seminar and concert at Cambridge University (Queens’ College).
He has served as a consultant to several museums and Holocaust Memorials, including the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland. During 2001-02, Strimple served on the California State Legislature Working Group for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education, which resulted in legislation mandating the teaching of genocide awareness in California schools. For many years he served as vice president of the David Nowakowsky Foundation, artistic director of the annual Los Angeles Interfaith Symposium and Concert, and as a member of the Advisory Boards of the Jewish Music Commission of Los Angeles and the Aminadav Aloni Music Foundation. He was one of seventeen international scholars, composers, and performers who originally comprised the Jewish Music Brain Trust at UCLA.
Dr. Strimple is the author of two critically acclaimed books, Choral Music in the Twentieth Century (2002) and Choral Music in the Nineteenth Century (2008), and has contributed chapters to four others, including the chapter on music as resistance in the multi-award-winning Jewish Resistance Against the Nazis. Most recently he wrote the Forewords to a biography of Rabbi Jacob Sonderling and a book on nineteenth century choral performance practice. His articles and reviews have appeared in Music and Letters, American Choral Review, The Choral Journal, The Orel Foundation Online Journal, Journal of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Music Library Notes, The Austrian History Yearbook, and other journals.
Nick Strimple was born in Amarillo, Texas in 1946 and was educated in the Amarillo public schools, at Baylor University, and the University of Southern California. His primary teachers include Bernice Parrott, Kathleen Wregge, Christine Hayter, Gerald G. Radtke, William R. Porter, Bill Cormack, Neil Hess, Hazel Davis, and Thomas Hohstadt (in Amarillo); Richard Willis, Robert H. Young, Daniel Sternberg, Roger Keyes, and Ann Miller (at Baylor); and James H. Vail, Halsey Stevens, Charles C. Hirt, Malcolm Hamilton, and Daniel Lewis (at USC). He had additional conducting studies with Marcel Couraud and Gary Bertini, and additional composition studies with Ross Lee Finney, Juan Orrego-Salas, and Robert Linn. He also counts Günter Einhaus, Ralph Edwards, Harvey Bacal, Delbert Mann, Roger Wagner, and Leonard Bernstein among his important mentors.
In addition to his work at USC, Dr. Strimple served for 35 years as Director of Music at Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church. He also served as Music Director of the Choral Society of Southern California for 32 years and is currently in his 25th season as Music Director of the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale.