19 Apr 2024 Australian Youth Orchestra Momentum Ensemble’s performance of A Mega Masquerade

8 Apr 2022 Robert Hao’s performance of Indie Ditties

24 Aug 2020 Artology Fanfare Competition 2020

24 Jun 2019 Artology Fanfare Competition 2019

14 Jul 2018 Navona Records’ release of Hipster Zombies From Mars

18 Dec 2017 Ensemble Apex’s premiere of sync_for_me(1)

13 Oct 2017 Navona Records’ release of Loose, Wet, Perforated

24 Sep 2016 Guerilla Opera’s 2016 production of Loose, Wet, Perforated

3 Aug 2016 Acacia Quartet’s performance of The Law Of The Tongue

20 Feb 2016 Tall Poppies’ release of A King’s Manifesto

24 Jun 2015 Callithumpian Consort’s performance of Dysart’s Changelings

1 Jun 2015 Move Records’ release of Uncanny Valley

1 Dec 2014 Navona Records’ release of Torrid Nature Scenes

1 Oct 2014 Artology Fanfare Competition 2014

10 Apr 2014 Syzygy Ensemble’s performance of Economy of Wax

15 Mar 2014 Halcyon’s performance of A King’s Manifesto

2 Jun 2013 counter)induction’s performance of Rustling the Deities

28 Jun 2012 Maarten Stragier’s performance of Les Effaceurs

1 Oct 2011 Radius Ensemble’s performance of Obsidian Magnified

16 Sep 2011 Guerilla Opera’s 2011 production of Loose, Wet, Perforated

16 Mar 2011 WordSong’s performance of Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock

24 Jul 2010 Tanglewood Music Center’s Piece-A-Day Project (Parnell’s Gloom, O’Connell’s Pig, Jury’s Din)

21 Jan 2010 Callithumpian Consort’s performance of Triplex Mobilis & Torrid Nature Scene

9 Nov 2009 Ensemble Offspring’s performance of The Origin Cycle (Economy of Wax)

7 Aug 2009 Halcyon’s performance of Torrid Nature Scene

15 Jun 2009 Callithumpian Consort’s performance of Firestick

10 Jun 2008 Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Three Scenes From Suburbia

22 Mar 2008 Sydney Philharmonia’s performance of Dies Irae

23 Aug 2006 ChamberMade Opera’s production of The Hive

17 Jul 2004 ChamberMade Opera’s workshop of The Hive

22 May 1998 BT Scottish Ensemble’s performance of The Underside Revealed


Australian Youth Orchestra Momentum Ensemble’s performance of A Mega Masquerade

19 April 2024

SoundsLikeSydney, 12 May 2024, John Wu

…wild megafauna rage and squat, dance and jive. The opening movement, Prehistory reminded me of a wonky revisioning of 2001: A Space Odyssey in every good way. Vines has started an epic adventure… 

The second movement, A Pouch Lion Ponders features scratchy colours, followed by a peaceful aura, ending with a dissonant strike. I feel like the prey that the marsupial lion is hunting, or perhaps I am one of the cubs fighting for it. This is nicely contrasted by the bassoon melody in the fifth movement, Murray Gets A Lickin’ which is measured and peaceful. This evokes the animal in question – a giant echidna – wobbling around, minding its own business as it goes for a drink.

Movement ten, The Demon Duck of Doom is the fan favourite of the night. The outstanding feature is the use of rubber ducks for a welcome change to the classical timbre of the orchestra, most notable being during the tremolos which I colloquially refer to as “DUCK ATTACK!!!” I am reminded of the terrifying stories of Australian ostriches chasing down poor souls, or maybe even a scenario of Donald the Duck being reimagined in the way they did Winnie in Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey. Grim.

The last movement I will cover is the sixteenth, Thylacine’s Lament. I particularly enjoy the rising and falling semitone idea, Using a sommelier metaphor, gives notes of the opening movement of Dvorak’s Requiem on the ear. It is a very suitable penultimate movement, honouring the most recently extinct megafauna and also setting up a grand concluding movement…

What an honour to have witnessed this spectacle!

Robert Hao’s performance of Indie Ditties

8 April 2022


CutCommon, 15 March 2022

Are You A Hipster? Nicholas Vines’ preludes are literally about you.


SoundsLikeSydney, 22 March 2022

Nicholas Vines & Rob Hao on Vines’ Indie Ditties


SoundsLikeSydney, 21 April 2022, Stephen McCarthy

“… well crafted, idiomatically written and, perhaps most importantly, willing to push the boundaries of what is acceptable by speaking in languages the audience nonetheless understands.”

“… destined for a well-deserved place in the Australian piano canon.”


classikON, 2 May 2022, Alexander Lau

“The music was as fascinating to watch as it was to listen to…”

“…cleverly engineered… highly ironic… uncannily vivid…”

“… worthy of the enthusiastic applause it received.”

Artology Fanfare Competition 2020

24 August 2020


Limelight Magazine, 24 August 2020, Jo Litson

Artology Announces the Winners of the 2020 Fanfare Competition

Artology Fanfare Competition 2019

24 June 2019


Limelight Magazine, 24 June 2019, Shirley Zhu

Winners of the 2019 Fanfare Competition announced

Navona Records’ release of Hipster Zombies From Mars

14 July 2018


Parma Recording, 23 July 2018 

The Inside Story: Nick Vines and HIPSTER ZOMBIES FROM MARS


Australian Music Centre, 30 July 2018, Nicholas Vines

Insight: Hipster Zombies From Mars ~ on reconciling different worlds


SoundCloud, 4  August 2018, Ryan MacEvoy McCullough

Interview with Nicholas Vines


Monsters Out Of The Closet, 28 August 2018, Nicole Calande & Shriya Venkatesh

Episode 11 ~ Nature


Cinemusical, 29 June 2018, Steven A. Kennedy

“One gets a good sense of Vines’ harmonic language, modernist style and intricate integration of form and musical styles… Hipster Zombies will likely inadvertently introduce a number of listeners into the dense forest of modernist contemporary musical approaches in often fascinating music.”


Winnipeg Free Press, 5 July 2018, Holly Harris

“… more intrepid ears will be rewarded with Vines’s imaginative vision… grounded in solid craftsmanship as an album for our modern, unrelenting times.”


pizzicato, 29 July 2018, Remy Franck

“… for entertainment value, you can’t deny these fantasy-full and compositionally complex pieces. Those who want really striking piano music are best served here.”   


Midwest Record, 6 August 2018, Chris Spector

” The pianist and composer Nick Vines spend two discs answering the question of what might have happened if Frank Zappa had the time to really take “Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny” to Pierre Boulez for further exploration rather than chasing jazz from hell. Wild stuff destined for the left leaning hall of fame, in addition to Zappa/Boulez fantasies, you can hear Leonard Bernstein taking “West Side Story” through hell and so much more that you never imagined. Way out there, but with chops.”


BBC Music Magazine, 9 August 2018, Freya Parr

“… the concept is wacky but well-delivered.” 


Ihr Opernratgeber, 3 October 2018, Sven Godenrath

“… dramatic, threatening… An interesting CD of modern classical music, a worthwhile sonic journey which has excited this writer.” 

Ensemble Apex’s premiere of sync_for_me(1)

18 December 2017


Limelight Magazine, 18 December 2017, Justine Nguyen

Ensemble Apex Unveils Its 2018 Season 

Navona Records’ release of Loose, Wet, Perforated

13 October 2017


Midwest Record, 8 October 2017, Chris Spector

“… Vines has a strong knowledge of the experimental works that were in vogue a little before his time and does his thing without homage or using tracing paper… if you like modern music that hits it out of the park, this left-leaning, nu-classical set is really going to float your boat.” 


Gramophone, December 2017, Laurence Vittes

“… highly resourceful pocket opera…

This studio recording is dazzling… suggesting an everybody’s opera destined for the street, where it could theoretically take place and where the sex appeal of its heady musical eclecticism lies.

With only two exquisite instrumental interludes to interrupt the 67 minutes of intense dialogue, Vines wields a wonderful toolkit of insinuating words and rhymes… and punctuates them with quick, deft touches including lyrical woodwind riffs and Wagnerian brass.”


Opera News, February 2018, Joe Cadagin

“PRUDES BE WARNED: Nicholas Vines’s Loose, Wet, Perforated is a dirty, dirty opera. But if you can stomach some naughtiness, this recording from Boston-based Guerilla Opera is hilariously bizarre. 

Vines matches the gratuitous vulgarity of his libretto with a grotesque and often disturbing musical language… Busy-sounding accompaniments sputter, snigger and gurgle below the surface, suddenly bursting out with jarring ejaculations, siren-like screeches… and suggestively drooping glissandos… But there’s also a quirky, carnivalesque quality to Vines’s music that suits the opera’s Lewis Carroll-style puns and paradoxes. The composer sets up colorful passages… that unfold in a cartoonish sequence of noise events… like a Rube Goldberg machine. Playful musical parody abounds…”


Loudmouth, 1 March 2018, Gwen Bennett

“… an avant-garde piece for a modern audience and hugely entertaining.

… brilliant, playful, outrageous, yet with an underlying dark side.

… an unusual and stimulating work… it has “legs”.” 


Limelight Magazine, 16 March 2018, Lisa MacKinney

“”… at once hyper-modern but grounded in ancient forms, and in the utterly assured hands of Nicholas Vines, it succeeds excitingly.”

Guerilla Opera’s 2016 production of Loose, Wet, Perforated

24 September 2016


The New England Theatre Geek, 22 September 2016, Kitty Drexel

“… a multimedia opera ripe with intimate oddity.

… a strange but moderately elegant little beastie… also an unexpected laugh riot… his characters are dealing out Trumpian levels of logic convolution to an not entirely innocent audience. It’s a timely production ready to push buttons.” 


Boston Classical Review, 22 September 2016, Aaron Keebaugh

“No work stands out quite like Nicholas P. Vines’ Loose, Wet, Perforated… Eerie, dark, and thoughtful, Vines’ work made for an experience unlike any other.

… The story, part comedy and part tragedy, poses difficult philosophical questions that are relevant today…

Vines’ colorful music fills the grim story with a sense of unease… conveying the same sort of haunting unfamiliarity one encounters in the music of Harrison Birtwistle.”


The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 26 September 2016, Steven Ledbetter

“Guerilla’s Modern Morality Play Triumphs… as a theater piece, it “went,” holding our attention throughout.”

Acacia Quartet’s performance of The Law Of The Tongue

3 August 2016


classikON, 1 August 2016, Daniel Kaan

“… [The work] changed the view of the harbour to be black and menacing… There was never a dull moment, my attention was riveted at all times.”


Sydney Arts Guide, 3 August 2016, Paul Nolan

“Vines’ exciting four movement work masterfully uses the intensity of the string quartet genre and the timbre of individual instruments to recreate images and action. Mastering the composer’s very modern, challenging and personal performance techniques, Acacia Quartet brought to life the  routine savagery of the whaling industry in this country in a  confronting narrative.

Modern string effects heard in much new music were extended to include Vines’ unique and arresting vocabulary of gesture. At all times Acacia Quartet captivated us as they captured the drama and necessary epic storytelling in this compelling species of programme music.

Law Of The Tongue replaced the suggestive gimmickry sometimes found rippling on the surface of lesser programmatic compositions with deep sonic communication as well as spirituality of place and event.”

Tall Poppies’ release of A King’s Manifesto

20 February 2016


Sounds Like Sydney, 14 December 2015, Shamistha de Soysa

“The overriding ambience of the songs is calming; the voices shimmer and flow; the word painting is graphic… It has expanded significantly the repertoire of contemporary Australian song, leaving an enduring gift for the future.”


The Australian, 20 February 2016, Vincent Plush

“… little gems that caress the ear in beauteous, rhapsodic and reflective sounds… a beguiling sampler of recent Australian music and a testament to 15 years of Halcyon music-making.”

Callithumpian Consort’s performance of Dysart’s Changelings

24 June 2015


The Boston Globe, 17 June 2015, Matthew Guerrieri

“… the night’s most in-your-face music, and also (or, perhaps, therefore) the most arresting… the music mixed brawn with bright haze, filling in power chords with squalls of bristling accents, scales, and murmurs. But Vines invested both the heavy scaffolding and the modernist graffiti with equal grandeur. The positions diverged, but, in its all-enveloping emphasis, the debate created its own harmony.”

Move Records’ release of Uncanny Valley

1 June 2015


The Music Trust, 1 June 2015, Gordon Kerry

“Gyger’s is a hard act to follow but Nicholas Vines does so more than creditably in his Uncanny Valley… a substantial work of theme and variations. Vines’s music has a playful quality not in huge supply in new music… which is by no means to deny that his is a work of great amplitude… [He] is inclined to play off traditional piano sounds against those of extended techniques to great dramatic effect.”


O’Connell the Music, 16 Sep 2016, Clive O’Connell 

“… The style of writing suggests a world of references – at one point, Boulez without the dynamic leaps; later, a whiff of Cowell and a smidgen of Nancarrow; the grandfather figure of Cage presiding over it all…   a near-Messiaenic ecstasy that makes a vividly affirmative conclusion…” 

Navona Records’ release of Torrid Nature Scenes

1 December 2014


babysue (online), June 2013, LMNOP

“If you’re only interested in hearing the safe and familiar sounds of the great masters of centuries past… Torrid Nature Scenes will probably be a bit too strange for you.”

Nicholas Vines is a composer of a different sort whose music lies somewhere in the area where classical meets experimental and modern classical. Although very different in overall sound, some of the ideas on this album remind us of Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels. These compositions are unpredictable and, for the most part, peculiar.”

“This bizarre listening experience is recommended for classical fans wanting something a bit more exotic and adventurous. Very cool.”


Audiophile Audition (online), 28 June  2013, Daniel Coombs

“(Vines’) music is wildly creative and entertaining. It may take a listen or two to begin to get into his offerings but, ultimately, they are vivid, cheeky, sometimes amusing and always unique.”

“This album gives us a good introduction to his unique vision… a highly entertaining and rather wild ride…”

Torrid Nature Scene is nearly indescribable but a lot of fun to listen to… suitably exotic in places and nearly nightmarish in others… the total effect is compelling, nearly surreal.”

“… a wildly creative vision of a new type of ‘classical’ music that is not afraid to echo jazz improvisation, elements of an older formalism and just about “anything goes.” I think this does require some careful, patient listening but you will be at least impressed with the impulsive creativity and sound painting.”


Anearful (online), 10 August 2013, Jeremy Shatan

“… In July 2010, I heard a fascinating work by Australian composer Nicholas Vines called Economy Of Wax…”

“… Now for those of you who see Schoenberg’s forbidding and humourless face when you hear the words “contemporary classical,” relax. Vines is anything but humourless…”

“… The Butcher Of Brisbane shows its hilarious, if unsettling, hand early on… Overall, the 22 minute piece is a fast moving delight with enough twists and turns to keep a listener on their toes…”

“…[Economy of Wax is] a blazing little piece, a remarkable coming together of the worlds of science and music, and the lives of humans and apians. Here’s hoping The Origin Cycle gets a full New York City premiere one of these days…”

“… The dynamics of the different movements and the interaction between the two singers gives Torrid Nature Scene a distinct theatrical flavor. This is obviously an area of interest for Vines, and one at which he excels. His lively imagination, mastery of scoring for a variety of instruments, and structural gravitas all make him well suited to telling stories through music…”


Limelight Magazine, 26 September 2013, Ilario Colli

“… surprisingly good – damn good, in fact.”

“All three works are rich in atmospheric soundscapes, gestural impact, complex rhythmic overlaying, and fresh thematic ideas. Particularly impressive is the album’s title work,

Torrid Nature Scene… [which] captivates from beginning to end, bathing us in ever-evolving textures, and steering us through a series of lush, mystical and sweeping soundworlds.”

“I would dare to call [Vines] one of the most promising Australian composers of his generation… In the words Mozart uttered when he allegedly heard a young Beethoven play, “Remember this boy’s name.””


Kathodik (online), 28 December 2013, Philip Focosi

“… hot complexity… [expressive] not only of musical structure, but also of life itself…”

“… telluric and labyrinthine: a real lava-flow of mixed emotions.”


Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music, quoted in Limelight Magazine, December 2014

“… – recommended!”

Artology Fanfare Competition 2014

1 October 2014

The Monthly, October 2014, Darryn King

A little foyer music

Syzygy Ensemble’s performance of Economy of Wax

10 April 2014


Partial Durations, 11 April 2014, Matthew Lorenzon

“The ensemble’s intensity only increased as they tackled [Economy of Wax]… The instruments buzz with a sort of autonomy, each regurgitating enough musical ideas for a lifetime of composition.”


The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 April 2014, Clive O’Connell

“… a jagged setting… and the night’s most uncompromising work: focused and dense.”

Halcyon’s performance of A King’s Manifesto

15 March 2014


The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 March 2014, Peter McCallum

“… Vines’ gently humorous, metaphoric A King’s Manifesto presented gently melismatic vocal writing against idle instruments interrupted by percussion as though they had hit a bump.”

counter)induction’s performance of Rustling the Deities

2 June 2013


The New York Times, 4 June 2013, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim

“It was an odd menagerie that slithered, swam and fluttered onto the gallery floor… a showcase for vivid, engrossing and highly communicative new chamber music.”

Rustling the Deities… proved a riveting vehicle for Mr. Fingland’s dazzling technique, while harnessing a certain ribald, wild energy that aptly conveyed images of satyrs reveling, rhyton in hand.”

Maarten Stragier’s performance of Les Effaceurs

28 June 2012


NewMusicBox, 28 June 2012, Matthew Guerrieri

“…  a razor-wire collection of prepared guitar bells, scurrying runs, and virtuosic excursions… realized with uncanny ease.”

Radius Ensemble’s performance of Obsidian Magnified

1 October 2011


The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 2 October 2011, David Patterson

“… A name becoming increasingly familiar to Boston audiences is that of Nicholas Vines, the young gifted Australian composer…”

“… [Sarah] Brady and violinist Jae Young Cosmos Lee conveyed unreservedly the awesomeness of the fast and furious, the heart-jabbing punches and longer tidal wave-like crashes that mark Obsidian Magnified. They were sensational. I felt these remarkably powerful signals emitted from this composition…”

Guerilla Opera’s 2011 production of Loose, Wet, Perforated

16 September 2011


The Boston Phoenix, 20 September 2011, Lloyd Schwartz

“ … Nicholas Vines is a compellingly original composer, and his new Loose, Wet, Perforated…is full of fascinating music. An eerie prelude and two extended interludes… both grabbed and held my attention with their smooth, slippery seductiveness and surprising but well-timed percussive punctuation. I could never predict what I’d hear next…”

NewMusicBox, 28 September 2011, Matthew Guerrieri

“ … The plot seemed to want to channel the genre’s capacity for moral scolding while satirizing it at the same time. ..”

“… The music… was terrific—kitchen-sink expressionism, edgy, bright, and entertaining as hell. Vines makes an unlikely four-player orchestra—clarinet, saxophone, trombone, and percussion—pay seemingly endless dividends. .. it certainly carried the listener through… in cracking style.”


The Tufts Daily, 6 October 2011, Zoey Turek

“… Loose, Wet, Perforated breaks barriers as modern morality play…”

“ … [Loose, Wet, Perforated] does a surprisingly good job of accurately mirroring America’s current socio-political atmosphere without making the comparisons feel heavy-handed… a tongue-in-cheek representation of capitalism…”

“… the musicians use composer Nicholas Vines’s inventive score to far exceed the traditional confines of their instruments. The music is so unusual that at times it is difficult to determine whether a sound was being made by a voice or an instrument, which lends an eerie quality to the chaotic albeit melodious score…”

“… the ambiguity of the characters’ genders forces the audience to drop all pre-conceived notions of gender roles and sexual constructs…”

“ … [Loose, Wet, Perforated] comes highly recommended to all lovers of modern opera.”


ArtSceNE – WGBH, 14 November 2011, Arthur Smith

“… oddly titled, but engrossing…”

“… This may seem like heavy freight, but in fact, Vines brings a light touch: certainly the opera is thought-provoking and philosophical, but it’s also funny and even sexy. It reveals a young composer with a sure hand for handling text…”

“… alternately broad and subtle shifts in register… ingenious repetition and variation in both musical and dramatic terms…”

“… [“Why must I climb the greasy pole?” is] perhaps not something to elaborate on much further in a general audience Web site. I’ll leave it at noting that the intended effects—both humorous and unsettling—come off perfectly…”

“…sense of both dire medieval times and twenty-first century wit… “

WordSong’s performance of Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock

16 March 2011


The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 16 March 2011, Susan Miron

“… a fun melodrama… spooky in its own way.”

Tanglewood Music Center’s Piece-A-Day Project (Parnell’s Gloom, O’Connell’s Pig, Jury’s Din)

24 July 2010


The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 25 July 2010, Mary Wallace Davidson

“I hope that… these composers will hang on to and develop the germs of musical ideas generated here. I felt privileged to experience this stage of their blossoming.”

“Vines’ O’Connell’s Pig was almost descriptive: gentle rollicking, punctuated by percussive pig sounds in the double bass.”

“So watch for these composers… to come your way. They have a strong voice, and know how to achieve its expression.”

Callithumpian Consort’s performance of Triplex Mobilis & Torrid Nature Scene

21 January 2010


The Boston Globe, 25 January 2010, David Weininger

“ …[Triplex Mobilis was] airy, open and engaging…”

“ ….[Torrid Nature Scene has] a luxuriant instrumental background… moments of arresting beauty…”


The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 23 January 2010, Mary Wallace Davidson

“ …[Triplex Mobilis was] most engaging, and deserves another hearing soon.”

“….[Torrid Nature Scene was] a tough piece that left the audience sitting for a while instead of rushing to leave.”

Ensemble Offspring’s performance of The Origin Cycle (Economy of Wax)

9 November 2009


The Sydney Morning Herald, 21-22 November 2009, Peter McCallum

“ … Nicholas Vines’s Economy of Wax wriggled nervously … This was a beautifully conceived and executed project, extending one’s mind out of usual listening habits to apprehend music and art within the vastness of nature’s patterns. “


Time Out: Sydney, November 2009, Jason Catlett

“ … Vines’ piece … has a lattice structure analogous to the honeycomb’s hexagons, using an harmonic rhythm in the ratio of 6:1; and just as Darwin’s illustrated the principle of natural selection across dozens of plant and animal examples, Vines uses ‘a single melody over and over again in a whole variety of different ways’ … “

Halcyon’s performance of Torrid Nature Scene

7 August 2009


RealTime (online), Oct-Nov 2009, Keith Gallasch

“ … Vines said he thought “lush” was not a word typically associated with Australia, but that he wanted to create “a febrile density” in his work, and so he does. The text, a poem by Andrew Robbie, is already dense with ideas and images … After the opening Wagnerian flourish we are introduced to a sonic world that is certainly lush, rich in operatic soaring, quackings, glides, post-orgasmic gasps, relished words chewed over, and ringing, starry bursts of voices and ensemble as one. In memorable, intense, sustained passages for one singer, the other counters with an undercurrent of noises evocative of nature and the body’s own musical otherworld. Torrid Nature Scene is almost overwhelmingly dense on a first hearing, but its strange beauties are many (its hyper-literary text best left impressionistic) … “


2MBS FM Fine Music, October 2009, Shamistha de Soysa

“ … His music is innovative, thoughtful and is a sincere attempt at describing 21st century society and the Australian ethos … [Torrid Nature Scene] is a frenetic, boisterous romp which endeavours to challenge contemporary attitudes towards the senses and the body …”


The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 August 2009, Peter McCallum

“ … Nicholas Vines describes his Torrid Nature Scene for two sopranos … as a ‘squelchy, lusty romp’, though part of its fascination lay in the way the rhythms, contrived words and artifice of style in Andrew Robbie’s text kept moving away just as one was about to grasp it: think Lewis Carroll with a PhD in semiotics.

Vines’s music was full, extravagant and wild, as though it was an accomplice in undermining the listener’s attempt to tame it. One sometimes had the impression one was being outwitted in conversation by two clever young men. “

Callithumpian Consort’s performance of Firestick

15 June 2009


The Arts Fuse (online), 18 June 2009, Caldwell Titcomb

“ … The opening section proved really exciting. … Especially striking was the periodic punctuation by whip-stick blows. The sizeable audience led the composer to take two bows … “

Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Three Scenes From Suburbia

10 June 2008


Time Out: Sydney (online), October 2008, Jason Catlett

“ … a new symphonic work about… an idealised shopping centre, raised to the mythical heights of Wagner’s Valhalla or Verdi’s Egypt. ”

“ Traffic lights and overgrown gardens were evoked by Vines’ lush and sometimes raucous score, about which Gill expressed both mild bewilderment and strong enthusiasm. “

“ If a soundtrack were ever needed for Patrick White’s festering depictions of suburbia, Vines has it down already. “

Sydney Philharmonia’s performance of Dies Irae

22 March 2008


The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 Tuesday March 2008, Peter McCallum

“… the work’s expressive goal had some deliberately disruptive elements, working against its own grain to undermine its rhetoric. Vines has constructed a large processional canvas, a parade of gestures whose members keep contradicting each other… A degree of chaos and hubbub is part of the idea, an aspect that was well established… Vines comes across as a composer engaged with thoughtful aesthetic ideas.”

ChamberMade Opera’s production of The Hive

23 August 2006


 The Australian, 29 August 2006, Peter Burch

“With this world premiere season of Nicholas Vines’s The Hive, his first commission by ChamberMade, the company is reaffirming its importance in Melbourne’s musical life.”

“Vines has prepared a notable score for Sejavka’s text… The Hive allows the singers to perform unencumbered by Vines’s instrumental scoring and their voices to be heard clearly…”


The Australian, 18 August 2006

“…a serious young insect with a Harvard scholarship…”

“Their methods complemented each other: Vines’s ‘obsessive, almost scientific way of working’, paired with Sejavka’s ‘obssessive, unscientific’ ways.”


The Age, 26 August 2006, John Slavin

“The individual voices weave beautifully through the a cappella singing reminiscent of Britten’s War Requiem.”

“…clever score…”


The Herald Sun, 29 August 2006, Chris Boyd

“Here’s the thing. I liked every single atom of this opera…”

“The scoring for piano (from a glittering, unresolved, Keith Jarrett-like rave to a most dramatic string plucking by the second musician) is extraordinary”


MelbourneStage (online), 29 August 2006,  Carol Middleton

View article

“…beautifully scored…”

The Hive ranges in mood from the sublime to the comic.”


 Vibewire (online), 30 August 2006, Hang Trinh

View article

“Captivating, boundless and clever”

“Credit must be given to the entire cast and crew of Chambermade’s The Hive, who produced a succinct and multi-layered production and managed to breathe life into this potentially linear play.”

“If you’re after fluffy and superficial entertainment, don’t see The Hive.”

“All in all, opera at its finest”


Realtime (online),  Chris Reid  

“ In contrast to much other opera, The Hive is cerebral, discursive and philosophical rather than romantic or dramatic.”

“ Vines’ score is fresh, lyrical and suitably edgy, ably supporting the unfolding dialogue.”

“ As an opera, The Hive is a work with great potential.”

ChamberMade Opera’s workshop of The Hive

17 July 2004


The Age, 23 July 2004

The Hive

BT Scottish Ensemble’s performance of The Underside Revealed

22 May 1998


Herald Scotland, 23 May 1998, Elizabeth Clark

“ A clever showpiece for viola… [employing] the 60s technique of spatial displacement… Drama then was the focal point of the piece, though there was some nice string writing, particularly in the slow middle section, lyrically voiced by viola over a gentle rocking accompaniment.”