Nick Strimple

Professor of Practice

  • Program:
    Choral Music and Sacred Music
  • Division:
    Classical Performance and Composition
  • Expertise:
    Choral Music


Nick Strimple is a composer, conductor, scholar and author whose interests include twentieth century music, Jewish music, the music of Dvořák and other Czech composers, the aesthetics of sacred music and virtually all aspects of choral music. He is the author of two critically acclaimed books, Choral Music in the Twentieth Century (2002) and Choral Music in the Nineteenth Century (2008).

Dr. Strimple is recognized internationally for his work with music related to the Holocaust. He has lectured on the subject at Yale University, Oxford University, Wellesley College, University of Miami, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival and other distinguished institutions. He has presented lecture/concerts at national conventions of the American Musicological Society, the American Choral Directors Association, the Cantors Assembly and other organizations. 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). He currently serves as vice president of the David Nowakowsky Foundation, artistic director of the annual Los Angeles Interfaith Symposium and Concert, and sits on the Advisory Boards of the Jewish Music Commission of Los Angeles and the Aminadav Aloni Music Foundation.

His choral ensembles have appeared at divisional and national ACDA conventions and at numerous European music festivals, including the Prague Summer Festival, the Athens Festival, the Pazaislis International Music Festival (Kaunas, Lithuania), the Vilnius International Music Festival, the Prague Musica Iudaica Festival and others. He has also prepared choruses for several renowned conductors including Zubin Mehta, Michael Tilson-Thomas and Gerard Schwartz.

Strimple has conducted some of the world’s most prominent ensembles, including: the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra and Chorus of the Polish National Opera, the Philharmonia Orchestra (London), the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, the Slovak Radio Orchestra, London Voices, the Prague Radio Choir, the Ensemble Vocal d’Aquitaine (Bordeaux), the New York Oratorio Society and the Hans Sachs Choir (Nuremberg). His recordings of twentieth century choral music are released on the Naxos, Music & Arts and 4-Tay labels.

An established composer, Strimple has written concert and liturgical works and has received commissions from the Vienna International Organ Festival, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Diva Complex, Jorge Mester, and others. His two Christmas Cantatas were recently recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra. He has also composed film and television scores and has served as arranger and/or director for Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Air Supply, and other leading artists.

Strimple was educated at Baylor University (BM in composition) and the USC Thornton School (MM in sacred music – Outstanding Master’s Candidate, 1973; DMA in choral music – Outstanding Doctoral Candidate, 1976). His principle teachers include Charles C. Hirt, Robert H. Young and James H. Vail (choral conducting and sacred music); Halsey Stevens, Richard Willis and Thomas Hohstadt (composition); Daniel Sternberg and Daniel Lewis (conducting); Martha Barkema and John Large (voice); Malcolm Hamilton, Roger Keyes and Dale Roller (piano); and Elwyn Wienandt, Arend Koole and Richard Wingell (musicology).

He also serves as director of music at Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church and music director of the Choral Society of Southern California and the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale.